In just a few hours I get to hang out with a great group of librarians who are working on choosing a title for next year’s Read Across Lawrence series. And although picking a title that pretentious beer-guzzling hipsters will love is one thing, picking a book for the whole community feels like a whole different animal.
This past spring, our community read To Kill a Mockingbird, which set the bar pretty high. Amazing events were held all over town, including Theatre Lawrence, KU Libraries, Liberty Hall, Signs of Life, Watkins Museum, and the historic downtown courthouse; and twitter buddies @larryvillelife, @THERaymondMunoz and @nuthousepunks even used the hashtag #TKAMB to explore the hipster dilemma: “what can Atticus and Boo and Scout still tell us about ourselves, as contemporary scenesters?”
Next year, we want to make sure we do just as great… maybe even better. To accomplish this, of course, we set some goals! First, we want our selection to be a title that our community will instantly recognize and love. Second, we hope our selection will have inter-generational appeal. Third, we want it to grapple with challenging, timeless questions while tying-in to current events or issues. Also on our wishlist is for the author to be living, and for ample stage, screen, and audiobook adaptations in order to support and celebrate multiple literacies.
I don’t want to give too much away, but so far we’re considering over 35 titles, replete with zombies, apocalypse scenarios, local food, and dysfunctional families. There are even a few pretentious postmodern titles in the mix. Check back soon — can’t wait to share more!