Book in Hands

A Community Conversation

Nancy Pearl, the former executive director of the Washington Center for the Book, inspired readers across the country when she created  “If All Seattle Read the Same Book” in 1998. Libraries, colleges, schools, and other groups have launched similar community reading programs since then.


Kalamazoo Public Library developed Reading Together with widespread support from schools, health and social service agencies, cultural, civic and religious organizations, businesses, media, local governments, and every public library in Kalamazoo County. Thousands of Kalamazoo readers have participated since 2003.


The Kalamazoo Community Foundation helped fund Reading Together for the first three years with grants from their BetterTogether initiative. KPL now provides major support for the program, including coordination by a Kalamazoo Public Library program specialist; foundation grants continue to help make Reading Together a countywide program.