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Shelby County librarians are hoping that a new reading program will promote literacy locally and give the community a common story to discuss.
Pam Federspiel, director of the library, said the library's "One Book, One Community" program is an effort to encourage the entire community to read the same book, at the same time.
Federspiel said books have a strange power of bringing people together and giving them a shared experience and story.
She hopes the program will encourage many in the community to discover the joy of reading books and discussing literary works with others.
"If you are not in a book club, and you are reading a book by yourself, some of its enjoyment is lost because you do not have anyone to discuss it with," she said.
The book that was selected for the program is "The Coal Tattoo," by Silas House.
House, a novelist from Laurel County, Kentucky, is known for his attention to the natural world, working class characters, and the plight of the rural places and people. House, who has won several literary awards for his works, has written three books and is expected to release a fourth in the near future.
In "The Coal Tattoo," House tells the story of two sisters, Anneth and Easter, who grow up in the coal-rich mountains of eastern Kentucky.
Federspiel said this book was chosen because of literary value and because of the author's in-depth portrayal of rural life in Kentucky.
The program officially starts this Saturday, Aug. 16, at the library's dedication of its newly constructed Hudson Room.
The program ends on September 30.
The book is currently available at the Shelby County Library.
Federspiel said the Brown Bag Book Club, which meets at the Library every second Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m., will be reading and discussing the book.
She said other book discussion groups will likely occur during the program as well.
On Oct. 9, the library will host "an Evening with Silas House" where the author will be on hand to offer a reading from his book, answer questions, and sign books. The event will be from 6 to 7:15 p.m. in the Hudson room.
The program is presented by the library with support from the Shelby County Friends of the Library.
Hudson Room dedication
On Sat. Aug. 16, at 10 a.m., the Shelby County Library will hold a dedication for the newly constructed Hudson Room. Entertainment, refreshments and a tour will be provided.