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Common Read program arrives at Carbon Valley Library

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By Ben Wiebesiek

FIRESTONE — The Common Read program launched at the Carbon Valley Regional Library Oct. 1 to give the community a single book to read and discuss.
    Library spokeswoman Kelli Johnson said staff from the participating libraries selected the book, “Unbroken,” for its inspiring message of resilience, forgiveness and perseverance.
    “It’s an opportunity just to get people reading, discussing, talking and engaging. The idea being that if we selected a book that people can have a common conversation about, then we’ll have something to talk about and share with one another,” Johnson said. “So we selected ‘Unbroken;’ it’s a World War II book. It’s a fantastic book.”
    The bestselling book, written by Laura Hillenbrand, tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a U.S. Olympic athlete and B-24 bombardier.
    After his plane is shot down during the war, Zamperini survives on a raft in Pacific Ocean for 47 days before being captured by Japanese soldiers.
    “It’s about redemption and courage and surviving the odds,” Johnson said. “The program itself, which is running Oct. 1 through Nov. 12, is a compilation of events, book discussions, film discussions, displays, special presenters.”
    The Common Read program will also coincide with swing ball fundraiser in Greeley for the High Plains Library district’s foundation.
    And it won’t just be the High Plains Library District that will participate in Common Read. The district is coordinating with Aims Community College, Berthoud Community Library District, Boulder Public Library, Clearview Library District, Sterling Public Library and the Westminster Public Library to bring this book to thousands of library patrons across the area.
    Johnson said the Common Read program is part of the district’s efforts to combat the decline in the number of people who can and are reading for pleasure.
    “Reading is no longer a timeless, universal capability. As this decline in reading continues, our nation becomes less informed, active and independent-minded,” Johnson said. “Participation in the Common Read provides family literacy opportunities, promotes reading, heightens the awareness of reading as a pleasurable activity and introduces us to various cultures, ideas and books.”
    But the library will also use various media, such as video, to help get the “Greatest Generation” message out, and on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m., library patrons will be treated to a viewing of “South Pacific.”
    “We have a lot of great book discussion where people can just get together to talk about the book,” Johnson said. “World War II has some memories for a lot of people, whether it be good or bad. There’s a lot of good discussion that can come from that and whether it does or does not relate to what our country is facing right now.”
    The library will also be treated to a performance by singers using the patriotic style made popular in the 1940s
    “On Nov. 3, we’ll have Revelry Three; it’s an Andrews Sister-style performance,” Johnson said. “It’s an actual contracted event and we’ll have some folks coming in and doing a play, and song and dance based on letters from people who were around during World War II – reenacting the things that happened on the home front.”
    For a full schedule of events at the library, and around the northern Colorado area in connection with Common Read, check out www.mylibrary.us.

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at
303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.