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  • Explore One City, One Story 2013 

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  • About One City, One Story

    Library homepage logoThe idea of getting a community together to discuss a single book actually arose in Seattle and quickly spread across the US, coming to Pasadena in 2002. Since beginning, the Pasadena Public Library has hosted ten titles and with each presentation the list of collaborating organizations, firms, volunteers, and businesses grows.

    The purpose of the series of discussions is just that: to discuss. We hope to begin a healthy, enlightening, interesting conversation among the people of Pasadena. The idea is not to agree, but to share thoughts and opinions. In sharing, we all learn.

    Usually in late summer, about 15 community readers begin coming together to suggest titles for the next spring’s selection.

    Criteria for selection include: 

    • The author should be living and able to come to Pasadena for a presentation
    • If possible, the book or author should have some tie to Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley, or southern California
    • The work should appeal to many members of society: women, men, teens, readers, non-readers, and so forth. The broader the appeal, the richer the discussion.
    • The book should inspire a conversation; it should start people thinking and encourage the sharing of ideas.
    • The book should have enough substance that it lends itself to a variety of programming possibilities.
    • The book should be available in paperback and several other formats such as an ebook, in Spanish, as a CD (audiobook), and in large type. 
    • The goal is to have the selection made public in November, giving ample time for Pasadena residents to give the title as a holiday gift.

    In March or April, the programs begin, with all sorts of cooperative sessions being offered. There are often book discussions throughout the community, in churches, stores, and libraries. Colleges and schools sponsor related events like panel discussions, art shows, concerts, or lectures. Everyone gets involved. In support, the Pasadena Public Library buys 200-300 copies of the book; usually the schools get another hundred or so, and Pasadena City College has many copies available for their students as well.

    The Pasadena Public Library is very pleased to continue to present this strong community effort. We believe it creates a colorful and varied conversation, whether folks are talking about the book at the grocery store, at a soccer practice, before a church service, or over the back fence. And that’s what it’s all about: One City, One Story, many ideas.

  • Enjoy One City, One Story

    Message from the Director

    OCOS director photoThe Age of Miracles is a great choice for One City, One Story.  It will expand your thinking and enliven your conversations.  Come with us as we explore some “what if” scenarios.  Leave the here and now, and take a look at what might happen if global warming continues, if tides begin to change based on new ocean levels, if foodstuffs become an endangered resource, and if the human race is forced to look at its existence in different ways.  It’s an exciting and innovative ride that you won’t want to miss!

    We’ll be in conversation with author Karen Thompson Walker on Thursday evening, March 14 at All Saints Church, with other events planned throughout the month of March.”

    Message from the Mayor

    OCOS-mayor-photo“The 2013 One City, One Story selection, The Age of Miracles, focuses on global change, uncertainty, and adjusting to a new normal, topics that are highly relevant to us today. It is certain to spark conversation and dialogue throughout the community.”

  • One City, One Story Archive

    Pasadena Public Library has hosted the One City, One Story program since 2002. Here are the most recent programs.

  • Contact Us / Nominate a Book