Three Communities, One Day, One Project!

What is a Community Read?
 
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 once again collaborated with the South Portland and Thomas Memorial Libraries on a three-town Community Read in winter 2022, running from February through April. The author spoke twice, to kick off the READ and at the end. Reading the book inspired a number of associated programs, from a writing workshop to virtual sessions with NeuseumED, which is dedicated to strengthening civil society through First Amendment & Media Literacy Education on First Amendment rights. It also inspired a Showcase of an ordinary day in Maine (and in the other locations of our participants); Saturday, March 19 was the big day. We encourage you to watch all three videos! 

Three-Community Read Kick Off Event

Three-Community Read Closing Event

One Day: Maine Edition Showcase
 
What did we read?
 
Our featured book: 

One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America by Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten. One Day asks and answers the question of whether there is even such a thing as “ordinary” when we are talking about how we all lurch and stumble our way through the daily, daunting challenge of being human.

"As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less interested in elaborate fictions or spectacular histories and just want to know how life is lived. I want a book about how other humans get things and lose things, and deal with both, how they cope and how they fail and how they live and how they die. This is the book I’ve been waiting for. The people described in this book are wonderful and flawed, some of them evil, some of them impossibly good. But none of them have lived the kind of lives that normally get told in books, and in finally seeking them out and telling their stories, Gene has done them, and us, a priceless service."

—Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!

On New Year’s Day 2013, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Weingarten asked three strangers to, literally, pluck a day, month, and year from a hat. That day—chosen completely at random—turned out to be Sunday, December 28, 1986, by any conventional measure a most ordinary day. Weingarten spent the next six years proving that there is no such thing.
 
That Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s turned out to be filled with comedy, tragedy, implausible irony, cosmic comeuppances, kindness, cruelty, heroism, cowardice, genius, idiocy, prejudice, selflessness, coincidence, and startling moments of human connection, along with evocative foreshadowing of momentous events yet to come. Lives were lost. Lives were saved. Lives were altered in overwhelming ways. Many of these events never made it into the news; they were private dramas in the lives of private people. They were utterly compelling.

One Day asks and answers the question of whether there is even such a thing as “ordinary” when we are talking about how we all lurch and stumble our way through the daily, daunting challenge of being human.