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News from Town Manager/Board of Selectmen

Posted on: June 30, 2017

Needham Public Library Announces One Book One Community Program

Contact Person: Gay Ellen Dennett, Reference/Program Librarian
781-455-7559 ext. 223

The Needham Free Public Library is partnering with several other community organizations to sponsor a One Book One Community Program this summer. The chosen book is In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero.

Hardcover and e-book copies of the book are available at the library. There is a limited number of uncatalogued paperback copies available for borrowing, swapping, and getting sandy on the beach. The book is suitable for high school students, as well as adults.
In the Country We Love is Diane Guerrero’s memoir of her experience of returning home from school in Boston one day at age 14 and learning that her illegal, alien parents had been detained and deported. Guerrero is an actress on the hit television show Orange is the New Black.

"In September, the library and co-sponsors will present discussion groups and a lecture to wrap up the program," said library Director Ann MacFate. "These programs will provide a forum for people to come together and discuss the ideas in the book."
The One Book One Community Program is part of a new diversity initiative titled the "Needham Free Public Forum" whose motto is "Exploring diversity to inspire unity." The initiative was organized by library trustees and staff in response to citizen input offered as part of the library's most recent long-range planning process.

"The community wanted the library to celebrate diversity and serve as a beacon of inclusiveness,” said Margaret Pantridge, a library trustee and member of the Long-Range Planning Committee. “We also heard that we should reach out and work with community groups, even if it means holding events outside the library."

Rick Hardy, another trustee who is working on the initiative, said that library representatives met this winter with several local organizations to discuss potential collaborations. "The idea is that by working together, the library and its partners can involve each other’s networks of Needhamites in their activities," he added. "We all want to encourage people to read, think, and talk about what it means to be a diverse society in the 21st century."

Previous diversity initiative activities have been "The Evolution of Gender" workshop in March, co-organized by the Needham Diversity Initiative and cosponsored by the Needham Free Public Library and the "Understanding Isis and Combating the Threat" lecture in May, organized by the Needham Human Rights Committee and co-sponsored by the Needham Free Public Library.

Co-sponsors for the One Book One Community program this summer are the Friends of the Needham Public Library, the Immigration Justice Task Force, the Library Foundation of Needham, the Needham Clergy Association, the Needham Community Council ESL Program, the Needham Diversity Initiative, the Needham League of Women Voters, and the Needham Human Rights Committee. For more information, please contact the Library at 781-455-7559, option 2.
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