How do you encourage adults to read in the face of declining readership?
The Irving Public Library tackled this challenge when it launched "One Book, One Irving," it's first month-long Community Read initiative in 2006. Community Read initiatives encourage reading by giving out free copies of a book to adults and hosting cultural programs about the book for 30 days. Find out more on the What is a Community Reads Initiative page.
From 2008 to 2014, and 2016 Irving was a selected to participate in the national Big Read program by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) and Arts Midwest. These sponsors, along with our local partners the Friends of the Irving Public Library, funded Irving's Community Read, giving away thousand of selected books to adults and children, along with themed programs and book discussions. Here's the list of titles celebrated since its inauguration with the Big Read years marked (*):
2006 - The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
2007 - The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
2008* - The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
2009* - poetry and stories by Edgar Allen Poe
2010* - The Call of the Wild by Jack London
2011* - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
2012* - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
2013* - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2014* - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2015 - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
2016* - Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea
2017 - True Grit by Charles Portis
Irving's Community Read takes many hands to make possible. Local partners over the past decade include the Irving ISD, the City of Irving Parks and Recreation department, the Irving Heritage Society, the Irving Black Arts Council, and the National Boy Scout Museum.