Weber Reads: Telling Our Stories

quote by Barbara Kingsolver

Weber Reads is a coalition of people from the Weber County Library, the Wasatch Range Writing Project, and Weber and Ogden School Systems. Following the One Community One Book initiative authored by the Library of Congress, the Weber Reads coalition selects a topic, an author, or a book every year and encourages people to learn, read, and discuss the ideas encountered. In the program’s thirteen years, a range of titles and themes have been explored, including Frankenstein, The Odyssey, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, the Japanese-American Internment, the Transcontinental Railroad, and fire.

2020 has been unlike anything experienced by any of us before.  This year’s theme, Telling Our Stories, takes on a new meaning, as we go into this changed world. It takes on a new urgency, as we know that writing helps us to reflect on our lives. Our hope is that these books and programs provide ways to talk about and remember all that we experience during this pandemic time.  We are not the first, however, to experience such change.  People in the past have faced injustice, dislocation, and natural disasters. Many before us have found solace in telling their stories, and the books selected for this year's theme bring some of these stories forward. Our hope is that as a community, we can use this time to encourage and honor the telling of our own stories.  The goal of Weber Reads is to encourage us to learn, reflect, and engage in meaningful dialogue.  While it is not presently possible to gather in person, please take advantage of the online programs and at-home activities that the Library will be offering this fall. 

And as always, to involve young people in our discussions, every school in the County will receive Weber Reads teaching materials created by teacher consultants from the Wasatch Range Writing Project.  Books, purchased in part by Friends of the Weber County Library, are being donated to school libraries.  Lesson plans are available on this page for homeschool use, and all of the books can be found at the Library.  

2020-21 Weber Reads: Telling Our Stories; image of speech bubbles



activities at home inside speech bubble

MAPPING YOUR MEMORy neighborhood project 
Believe you don’t have a story to tell? This activity will get you thinking about stories close to home and an easy way to share them.

When it comes to telling your story, sometimes less is just as powerful as more. Try your hand at writing about a moment in your own life with just six well-chosen words.

Gathering around the table with friends and family is a great time to learn more about, and learn from, the people we are closest to. This set of questions will get the storytelling ball rolling.


programs inside speech bubble

Memoir Writing
Thu, Oct 15, 1:00 p.m. Ages 18 and older
Are you interested in writing your life story or family history? This workshop will teach you how. Sign up today for a free notebook while supplies last. Registration, an Internet connection, and a Zoom-capable device are required. To register, call 801-337-2691.

My American Story
Tue, Oct 27, during operating hours (Use Main Library’s Studio)
What does it mean to you to be an American? Answer this question with a video or audio recording made on your smart phone, or visit the Main Library on Tuesday, October 27 to use our recording studio. Submit your responses to the Library for inclusion in a virtual archive by Tuesday, November 3. Call for more information 801-337-2691.


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Ages 18 and older. Limited free copies of the book will be available. All book discussions will be held via Zoom. To register, call your location or sign up through the Library’s website

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
Tue, Oct 13, 7:00 p.m.
North Branch Register: 801-337-2650
On the night of the Winter Solstice, a village gathers for an evening of storytelling at a little inn set upon the river Thames. The arrival of a stranger carrying a dead child, fished out of the cold waters, interrupts their revelry. When the child miraculously awakens, the mystery of her identity raises ghosts of the past and changes the lives of the community forever.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Wed, Oct 14, 7:00 p.m.
Southwest Branch Register: 801-337-2670
Part of the Man vs. Nature book discussion series. Robin Wall Kimmerer is an ecologist and a Native American woman, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her memoir is a profound piece of nature writing exploring the intersection of culture and science.

There There by Tommy Orange
Tue, Oct 20, 7:00 p.m.
Pleasant Valley Branch Register: 801-337-2691
Part of the Native Voices book discussion series. Twelve strangers, all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, are connected in ways they do not yet realize. Together, their urban voices weave a complex and unflinching narrative filled with pain, beauty, spiritualism, and sacrifice.

If the Oceans Were Ink by Carla Power
Tue, Nov 18, 7:00 p.m.
Southwest Branch Register: 801-337-2670
This is the true story of an unlikely friendship between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the text.




Supported by Family Search, #52Stories provides tips and resources to help write one personal story a week for an entire year.

This I Believe
  NPR Series
Begun as a radio program in the 1950s, the program encourages all people to write, listen, and discuss the core beliefs that guide their daily lives.

Story Corps
Preserving and sharing individual’s stories in order to build connections between people and strengthen the bonds between us. Also a podcast.

The Moth
True stories, told live. Radio program (Utah KUER 90.1FM) and podcast also.

Writing My Autobiography
Step by step autobiography lesson plan from Sandra Blair (Scholastic), grades 6-8.

Story Trek
Everyone has a story to share, and every story is worth sharing. TV journalist Todd Hansen travels randomly across the country to collect incredible stories from everyday people.

This American Life
A weekly public radio program (Utah KUER 90.1 FM) showcasing people, places, and the stories in between. Also a podcast.