Kalamazoo Public Library Celebrates Another Successful Reading Together Program

May 1/, 2013 11:34:20 AM


Kalamazoo, MI –

May 1, 2013

Kalamazoo Public Library wishes to thank all of the many readers who helped make this year’s Reading Together Program a huge success! The following is a letter from this year’s Reading Together author, Amy Waldman. Waldman’s novel, The Submission spurred a lot of excellent program participation and discussion.

Dear Kalamazoo,

I can’t thank you enough for selecting “The Submission” for your Reading Together program, and even more, for the hospitality you showed me. It was wonderful to spend a couple of days in a city that combines the warmth of a small town with the vibrancy of a cultural center.

And what readers! I almost fell over when I met a book club who had spent four hours discussing my novel, give or take a little time spent on the carrot cake. And who caught a tiny change I had made between the hardcover and the paperback versions. When I spoke, the audience’s energy was palpable and their questions stimulating. And seeing the student art inspired by “The Submission” and displayed at the library was among the most inspiring experiences I’ve had since publishing my book.

Both the community and the library staff have my admiration and gratitude for doing so much to support readers and writers. The ideas for programming for Reading Together were brilliant, and I wish I could have attended.

I’m working hard on my next book so I can get back to Kalamazoo…

All best,

Amy Waldman

2013 Reading Together At a Glance:

   • 263 print copies of the book, including five Book-Club-in-a Bag sets, circulated 1,670 times
   • 13 supporting programs and events attracted 1,345 people to 8 different venues throughout the community, including 3 KPL locations, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo Central High School, Portage District Library and Western Michigan University
     Most notable:
    -364 attended Amy Waldman’s author visit at Kalamazoo Central High School
    -300 attended Brook Gladstone’s author visit at Western Michigan University
    -253 attended Art Hop at Central to view EFA student artwork and performances inspired by The Submission

Book Discussions
We estimate that roughly 200 residents participated in discussion about The Submission with either established or one-time-only book groups. Public discussions too place at locations like:
   • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
   • Friendship Village
   • Unitarian Universalist Community Church
   • Surrounding libraries
while other discussions were held by private book groups in people’s homes or other locations.

Sales and Circulation
Number of copies sold at local bookstores and circulation at surrounding libraries both totaled approximately 250

The following organizations and/or businesses collaborated with KPL in promoting, hosting, planning, or presenting Reading Together events:
   • Davenport University
   • Diekema Hamann Architecture & Engineering
   • Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
   • John Lacko Photography
   • Kalamazoo College
   • Kalamazoo Community Foundation
   • Kalamazoo County Public Arts Commission
   • Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
   • Kalamazoo Public Schools
   • Kalamazoo RESA Education for the Arts
   • Kalamazoo Valley Community College
   • Michigan News Agency
   • MLive Media Group/Kalamazoo Gazette
   • Portage District Library
   • Public Media Network
   • Western Michigan University

Selected Comments from Patrons

Reading Together gets me to read books I never read otherwise.

Thank you… an asset to our community.

Am amazed at all events offered in Kalamazoo.

You folks do a terrific job!

Reading Together is a wonderful community program! Keep it up!

Community Read – How and why we survive Michigan winters.

To keep updated about the Reading Together Program, visit readingtogether.us 

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