With the hope of creating community-wide conversations based on a shared piece of literature, the Sun Prairie Public Library has launched its first community reading project, Sun Prairie Reads Seedfolks.
Sun Prairie Reads Seedfolks was created based off the outline for the American Library Associaton’s “One Book, One Community” program, which offers resources for librarians to build community-wide reading programs.
“The idea is to have as many people as you can in the community read this particular book and hopefully as well, participate in discussion about the book,” Library Director Tracy Herold said. “In addition, it’s kind of this common point of intersection if a community is reading the same book. Our hope is that if we get different members of the community reading ‘Seedfolks,’ that they’ll be able to talk about it. It’s a common point of discussion.”
The Sun Prairie Public Library 2014 community project will be built on author Paul Fleischman’s Newbery Medal-winning children’s novel, “Seedfolks.” The story follows a diverse group of characters living in Ohio who are transformed by the planting of a small garden in their neighborhood.
Residents are invited to pick up a book at one of several distribution centers in Sun Prairie, including the library, What’s Brew’n, Corker’s Coffee Café, Beans ‘n Cream Coffeehouse, Buena Vista and Main Street community schools, and at the Little Free Libraries located throughout the community.
Aside from the reading component, community reading projects also encompass free programming related to the theme of the selected book.
From March through October, Sun Prairie Public Library will offer several programs focused on the book’s themes of sustainability, community gardens and planting. Professionals and organizations will lead the following programs:
• Terra Cotta Pots
• CSA Basics with Fair Share CSA Coalition
• Best practices for a successful garden with Schonheit Gardens
• Mad City Chickens film
• Library Grounds spring and fall clean-ups
• Decorating Your Garden with Prairie Flowers
• Library Garden Planting Party
• Sassy Cow visit
• Farm Buddies with Jeff Gauger
• Flower Arranging with Prairie Flowers
UW-Extension will also lead several programs, including seed starting, composting, organic vegetable gardening, permaculture, and container gardening.
Along with kicking off its first year of the community reading project, the library is also in the planning stages of creating its first garden this spring, which will also be incorporated into Sun Prairie Reads Seedfolks.
The 2014 project will end with a visit from Seedfolks author Paul Fleischman at Sun Prairie High School’s Performing Arts Center.
“We’re really excited to have him,” Herold said.
The Sun Prairie Reads Seedfolks calendar of events may be picked up at the library, 1350 Linnerud Dr.
The library has received funding for the project from the Sun Prairie Education Foundation, Walmart and the Friends of the Sun Prairie Public Library.
A kick-off party for Sun Prairie Reads Seedfolks with be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 22 at the library. The event will feature activities for all ages, including farm animal visits, a scavenger hunt, kid-friendly crafts, popcorn and samples.
“The most important thing is, pick up the book and read the book,” Herold said. “It’s a very inspiring book. It packs a wallop and my plan is to read a chapter an evening at dinner with my family and share it that way, and then pass it on to my other friends and neighbors around the neighborhood.”