Celebrating the 20th Anniversary Reading Together Proclamation
The following Proclamation was read at a Kalamazoo City Commission meeting on Monday, February 21, 2022:
WHEREAS, Kalamazoo Public Library’s signature “one book one city” program began in 2003 in partnership with the Better Together initiative at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. The first title announced was Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Since then, a different book– or sometimes more than one—has been chosen every year; and,
WHEREAS, the program began with a vision of gathering people from all walks of life, of all ages and educational levels in libraries, homes, workplaces, community centers, and coffee shops to discuss issues raised by a book they have all read; and,
WHEREAS, in the 20 years of the program’s existence, over 20 books by 20 different authors have been featured as a Reading Together titles with 15 of the authors coming to Kalamazoo for a live presentation; and,
WHEREAS, the breadth of themes of the selected titles has led to exploration by the Kalamazoo community of several important issues, including poverty, police brutality, immigration, food security, and a myriad of social justice issues including race, religion, gender, and so much more; and,
WHEREAS, organized book discussions and local events–planned in partnership with neighboring libraries, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and businesses–provided opportunities for conversations and deeper understanding of the world through reading; and,
WHEREAS, 0ver 40,000 participants have attended various Reading Together events since the program began 20 years ago and since its inception, the program has continued to book bring the Kalamazoo community together through the shared experience of reading the same book.
NOW, THEREFORE, ON BEHALF OF THE 54th CITY COMMISSION, I, DAVID F. ANDERSON, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF KALAMAZOO
do hereby honor and recognize the 20th anniversary of Reading Together and urge the community to join us in celebrating the program’s success.