Friday, December 13, 2013

A Book for the 'Burg

Massanutten Regional Library in partnership with James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University, and the City of Harrisonburg will be participating in the inaugural year of a community reading program called “A Book for the ‘Burg”.   The first community reading program took place in Seattle Washington in 1998. The goal of this program is to encourage an entire community to read the same literary work and come together to discuss, as well as support programs based on themes found in the book.[1]

MRL has sponsored The Big Read in previous years, and we are very excited to participate in a similar community event with sponsors from throughout Harrisonburg.  The book selected for 2013 – 2014 is Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Pultizer Prize winning author Tracy Kidder. The book is about Paul Farmer, a Harvard-trained infectious disease specialist and anthropologist, his atypical childhood, and his work in rural Haiti and around the world.  Books are available for checkout at the Massanutten Regional Library in both hardcopy and as an e-book; the James Madison University library, both in hardcopy and as an e-book; the Eastern Mennonite University library; and through the JMU Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability.    On Monday December 16th starting at 10:00 am, representative from the JMU Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability will be in the atrium of the main branch of MRL in downtown Harrisonburg handing out a limited number of the books.  We encourage you to come by for a chance to get a copy of the book.  Once you have read it you can help us by “recycling” your copy and return it to a special box at MRL so it can be passed along to another reader.  Or pass it along yourself!   Everyone loves a good book recommendation. 

So join the conversation!  Read the book, record your name in a distributed copy, or tag a photo online with #book4burg.  The calendar of events is available online at  or by calling 540-568-3288.  Programs are free of charge, open to the public, and do not require participants to have read the book.  MRL will be hosting a book discussion on February 8, 2014 at 1:00 at the main branch.  Join us for this first event for A Book for the 'Burg.

[1]John Y. Cole, “One Book Grows in Popularity”, Information Bulletin January 2006, Library of Congress,,(accessed December 12, 2013).

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