2015–2016 book selection
We are delighted to begin a new season in our annual community reading program, Weber Reads. This year, we will explore and celebrate Shakespeare and his works.
William Shakespeare is the most widely-read author in the English language. When he died in 1616, he left behind plays, sonnets, poems, and a reputation that is unmatched in the English-speaking world. Four hundred years later, he is still a celebrity.
Shakespeare is everywhere: in the movies, the theater, the bookstore, the library, and in our language and the sayings we utter every day. How do we account for this astonishing influence?
The novelist Isabel Allende says, “People have found truth in his writing everywhere in the world since the sixteenth century because the human condition is common to all and remains unchanged … I believe that in spite of the fathomless depth of his work, which has kept thousands of scholars and millions of readers busy for more than four centuries, he didn’t take himself too seriously.” (Carson 491-492) First and foremost, Shakespeare was a storyteller writing for the stage. His comedies, tragedies, romances, and historical plays were created to entertain and move the audience.
From September to March, the Weber County Library will offer a variety of events for all ages, beginning on September 12 with our kick-off program. We invite you to share in the joy of Shakespeare’s work, the excitement of the stage, and the culture of his times.
Weber Reads programs are funded in part by the Ralph Nye Charitable Foundation.
Carson, Susannah, ed. Living With Shakespeare. New York: Vintage Books, 2013. Print.
Weber Reads is modeled after the “One Book, One Community” concept, but with a twist, focusing entirely on literary classics and making them accessible to patrons. As with all “One Book, One Community” programs, the goal of Weber Reads is “to provide opportunities for all people to read, reflect, and engage in meaningful dialogue, framed around a work of literature, which helps illuminate experiences and beliefs that transcend group values to unite us as human beings.”
Classic titles selected for Weber Reads are made available in multiple languages, scholarly and popular editions, graphic novels, retellings, and picture books, as well as in recorded and electronic formats. This dedication to multiple editions and formats helps ensure there is a version available that will appeal to everyone in the community, regardless of age, language, or reading level.
The methodology for reaching out and involving diverse members in this community-wide literacy program has been acknowledged by the American Library Association, Library Administration and Management Association, PR Xchange Committee, which has three times chosen Weber Reads to receive its Community Reading Program “Best of Show Award.” In addition, the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge selected the 2011-12 “Weber Reads: The Founders” to receive its prestigious George Washington Honor Medal.
In addition to working in conjunction with local schools to involve young readers, the Library also enjoys a strong Weber Reads partnership with Weber State University and the Standard-Examiner newspaper. These partners provide public relations help and programming support for Weber Reads activities.