Community Read 2020 LogoCommunity Read 2020 Schedule of Events

A Community Read is a large-scale book club, spanning an entire community and cultivating a local culture of reading and conversation by bringing people together around a common book. Scarborough Public Library will be collaborating with the South Portland and Thomas Memorial Library on a three-town Community Read this fall, running from September through November.

When: Varies (see upcoming events below)
Where: Zoom

What will we be reading?

Our featured book is This is Chance! by New York Times Magazine writer Jon Mooallem. This is Chance! recounts the devastating 9.2-magnitude Great Alaska Earthquake that hit Anchorage, Alaska in March of 1964 and chronicles how the local community came together in the immediate aftermath to respond to the crisis. Mooallem tells a riveting true story about the quake that also serves as an ode to the spirit of community in the face of disaster. Learn more about Mooallem's writing can be found at his website https://jonmooallem.com/

Will there be Community Read events?

YES!! There will be many opportunities for you to participate and engage with your friends and neighbors over the course of the next two months. On September 23rd, we welcomed author Jon Mooallem for the kickoff event of the Community Read! He read a bit from This is Chance! and talked about the process of researching and writing the book. Watch the recording of this event below.

Another author event will  wrap up the Community Read on November 18. In between, all three libraries will be working together to offer book discussions, read-alouds, concerts, creative opportunities and a full slate of related programming around the book's themes of community and resilience. All events will be open to residents of all three towns and there will be opportunities to meet, converse and get to know your neighbors from Cape Elizabeth, South Portland, and Scarborough.

 

How do I participate?

Please register to participate in the Community Read here to receive information about upcoming programming and events. Register for one, all, or just a few specific events below. With questions, send an email to ljnorvell [at] scarboroughlibrary.org. Reserve a copy of the book on the Library's Minerva online catalog.

For anyone who prefers to purchase their own copy of the book,  Print: A Bookstore and Nonesuch Books are offering discounts on this title for the duration of the Community Read.

Book Discussion Groups

Discuss This Is Chance! with other readers!  Sign up for a book discussion group.  Registration is required.  Participation will be capped at 15 participants per group.  All discussion groups will be virtual events, held online, using the Zoom platform.

Thursday, October 8, 2020 @ 6:30 pm

Saturday, October 17, 2020 @ 2:00 pm

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 @ 6:30 pm

Monday, October 26, 2020 @ 3:00 pm

Friday, November 6, 2020 @ 10:30 am

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 6:30 pm  

Tune In to This is Chance!: A Read-Aloud Series

Join us for one hour each Monday and Friday evening, as we read aloud This Is Chance!  Reading doesn’t have to be solitary—listen in as your local librarians read aloud to you and your neighbors.  Enjoy a snack, grab your knitting, or just sit back and relax as we enjoy This Is Chance! together.

Join us for one hour each Monday and Friday evening, as we read aloud This Is Chance!  Reading doesn’t have to be solitary—listen in as your local librarians read aloud to you and your neighbors.  Enjoy a snack, grab your knitting, or just sit back and relax as we enjoy This Is Chance! together.

Mondays and Fridays, October 5 -November 6, 2020, 7-8 pm (except October 12th).

Click here to register for the series.

Upcoming Events

Don’t Take a Chance: Building Community Resilience through Disaster Preparedness and Crisis Response, with Scarborough Fire Chief, B. Michael Thurlow

Thursday, November 5

6:30 – 8:00 pm

Thursday, November 5

6:30 – 8:00 pm
via Zoom

It’s essential for everyone to know how to be proactive, what to expect in the aftermath of a crisis, and the importance of individual and community resilience before and after disaster hits. Wherever you live, there are things you can do on a personal level—neighbors helping neighbors. Learn how federal, state, and local governments prepare for disaster and what you can do to help yourself, your family and your neighbors. Chief Thurlow’s 44+ year career with the Scarborough Fire Department has developed his expertise in crisis response and disaster preparedness. The Chief’s overview will last an hour and will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Fire Chief B. Michael Thurlow is a life-long Scarborough resident who graduated from Scarborough High School and attended Southern Maine Community College.  He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and uncles by joining the Scarborough Fire Department as soon as he was old enough at the age of 16.  Michael has served as a member of the Pine Point fire company for nearly 45 years.  He was appointed the Town's part-time Emergency Management Director in 1980, a position he has held for 40 years.  Four days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 Michael was appointed as Scarborough's career Fire Chief.  Michael is married to his wife of 33 years Malvina, and they have a son, Michael, who was the 4th generation of the family to serve on the fire department, and now serves as a career Scarborough Police Officer.

Registration is required for this program.

Click here to register.

Series: 

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 6:30pm

Virtual Book Discussion

Online Book Discussion logo

Discuss This Is Chance! with other readers!  The heart of the Community Read is the chance to discuss a common book with friends, neighbors and strangers from your community. These discussions are a chance for members of all three towns to meet one another and connect through great conversations about the book. All discussion sessions are open to patrons from each of the participating towns.

To sign up for this book discussion group, registration is required.  Participation will be capped at 15 participants.  This discussion group will be virtual, held online, using the Zoom platform.

Click here to register.

Series: 

Friday, November 6, 2020 - 10:30am

Our Town: A Live Reading

Our Town image

Our Town: A Live Reading
Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Janie Downey

Saturday, November 7
2:00 pm
via Zoom

Our Town: A Live Reading
Written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Janie Downey

Saturday, November 7
2:00 pm
via Zoom

Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play, Our Town tells the story of the fictional American small town of Grover’s Corners, NH and the everyday lives of its citizens during the early years of the 20th Century. Careful readers of our Community Read 2020 book selection, This is Chance!, will be aware of the central thematic role that Our Town plays in the book. Still one of the most performed plays anywhere after more than 80 years, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town is widely considered an American classic and a long-time staple of local and high-school theater productions. Come join us as a talented local cast drawn from the Lyric Music Theater, Royal River Community Players, and a host of other great local theaters performs a live reading of Our Town. You won’t want to miss this unique communal experience of watching Wilder’s classic celebration of community and human life along with your friends and neighbors. It’ll be an intimate COVID-style virtual theatrical experience! A Q&A with the cast and director will follow.

Registration is required for this program.

Click here to register. A confirmation won't be sent automatically. You will receive the Zoom link on Saturday, November 7.

Series: 

Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 2:00pm

Virtual Book Discussion

Online Book Discussion logo

Discuss This Is Chance! with other readers!  The heart of the Community Read is the chance to discuss a common book with friends, neighbors and strangers from your community. These discussions are a chance for members of all three towns to meet one another and connect through great conversations about the book. All discussion sessions are open to patrons from each of the participating towns.

To sign up for this book discussion group, registration is required.  Participation will be capped at 15 participants.  This discussion group will be virtual, held online, using the Zoom platform.

Click here to register.

Series: 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:30pm

Everything Moves: Stories from the Great Alaskan Earthquake, co-hosted with Anchorage Public Library

Everything Moves: Stories from the Great Alaskan Earthquake 
co-hosted with Anchorage Public Library

Saturday, November 14
3:00pm-4:30pm
via Zoom

Everything Moves: Stories from the Great Alaskan Earthquake 
co-hosted with Anchorage Public Library

Saturday, November 14
3:00pm-4:30pm
via Zoom

We’ll be joined in this afternoon program by the patrons and librarians of Anchorage Public Library, who will be sharing their memories and photographs from the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964, and their reflections on how the effects of the quake have impacted Anchorage in the decades that followed. After the presentation, there will be time for questions and conversation with our friends from Anchorage, so be sure to bring your curiosity and your earth-shaking questions about life in Alaska, then and now. Come join us in expanding the idea of just how big a Community can be!

Registration is required for this program.

Click here to register. A confirmation won't be sent automatically. You will receive the Zoom link on Saturday, November 14.

Series: 

Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 3:00pm

This is Chance! Book Talk with Author Jon Mooallem

Book jacket

Wednesday, November 18

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Wednesday, November 18

7:00 – 8:30 pm
via Zoom

Join us as we welcome This is Chance! author Jon Mooallem one last time for the closing event of the Community Read 2020. You’ve read the book, talked about it with your friends and neighbors in discussions groups, and learned more about Alaska, the earthquake, and the origins, background and themes of This is Chance! Now it’s your chance to sit down with Jon and pick his brain about the book, his writing process, research methods and the decision making involved in reporting a story like this. Bring all your thoughts and questions and join us as we spend an evening in conversation with the author behind our inaugural three-town Community Read book selection. 

Registration is required for this program.

Click here to register. A confirmation won't be sent automatically. You will receive the Zoom link on Wednesday, November 18.

 

Series: 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 7:00pm