Community-Wide Reading Event In Thomas County, Book Announced

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By: Kara Duffy
Sept. 8, 2013

Thomas County, GA- What would happen if everyone in the community read the same book at the same time? Well, folks in one South Georgia town are about to find out!

The Thomas County Library is hosting the first ever "One Book Community-Wide Reading Event."

After weeks of waiting, organizers have finally announced the chosen book, which is "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom.

Even more exciting news, Albom, who is also the author of the best-selling novels, "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet In Heaven," will be making a stop in Thomasville September 26th.

Albom will be visiting the Thomasville Center for the Arts to meet readers and talk about "The Time Keeper" on September 26th at 7:00 p.m.

For more information go to the Thomasville Center for the Arts website:

Press Release: OneBook

THOMASVILLE, GA; August 20, 2013—What would it be like if everyone in Thomas County read one certain book during a specific time? Would people start talking about the book and its ideas with family or friends? Would we find ourselves having conversations about it with people in the grocery checkout line, at church, or at the gym? Would the shared experience change our community in any way? We’re about to find out.

Thomas County will hold its very first community-wide reading event called One Book: Time to Read Together in September. While teasers have been appearing around town about the event, the official announcement was made today by the Thomas County Public Library System (TCPLS). The library is just one of eight county, city, education, arts, and literary organizations, groups, and businesses involved in creating the month-long event.

One Book is a celebration of community and literacy featuring events for the whole family. It encourages Thomas County residents to read one specific book during the month of September, and is designed to promote literacy, reading and arts awareness, and encourage community interaction and dialogue through exciting tie-in events.
The book chosen for the community read will be announced at the Thomasville Center for the Arts’ Flaunt 2013 Opening Night Party on Friday, September 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Grassroots Coffee Co. on Broad St. in Thomasville. All that is being revealed about the book in advance is that its central theme concerns time. The book is suitable for both adults and young adults. Copies will be available for purchase at the Flaunt party and at The Bookshelf. Some copies also will be available for checkout at TCPLS library and branches. In addition, copies of the book will be donated to local senior centers and high schools.

During September, Thomas County residents can enjoy a number of interesting tie-in events:
• Thomasville Center for the Art’s Flaunt 2013 public art installation, plein air paint-out, window design exhibition, and “little free libraries,” small art installations around Thomasville that will hold a variety of donated books
• Make Time for One Book: A special program at the Pavo Public Library on Sept. 10 at 2:00 p.m.
• A Time to Play: The Scholar’s Academy’s Creative Thinking Class and downtown Thomasville merchants will have interactive, family-friendly board games along Broad Street on Sept. 14 at 5:00 p.m. (Rain date: Sept. 21 at 5:00 p.m.)
• A Time to Discuss: A book discussion at The Boston Carnegie Library on September 16 at 4:00 p.m.
• A Time to Discuss: Dr. Jay Snodgrass and Maria T. Studebaker-Coppage from Southwest Georgia Technical College and Dr. Sandra Simonds from Thomas University will lead a book discussion at the Thomasville library on Sept. 17 at 6:00 p.m.
• A Time to Listen: A community night of poetry and music will be held at Grassroots on Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
• A Time to Learn: Physicist Dr. Harrison Prosper will talk about the existence of time at a Science Café held at Thomas University’s Hawk’s Nest on Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m.
The month-long community event culminates on Thursday, September 26, when the New York Times best-selling author of the One Book selection comes to the Thomasville for the Arts auditorium to talk about his books and to sign copies. People purchasing a ticket for the event will be given an advance proof of the author’s new book that will be published this fall.

Additional details on the author event will be made following the September 6 announcement of the book that will be the focus of the community read. Tickets for this event will go on sale at the Flaunt Opening Night Party.

“A shared event like this brings the community together in a positive and fun way. How better to celebrate reading and raise awareness for literacy in Thomas County than through a community read,” said Nancy Tillinghast, director of the Thomas County Public Library System. “We are especially thrilled that a nationally recognized author will be spending an evening with us.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 19% of people 18 years or older in Thomas County are considered illiterate. Low literacy skills have a direct impact on crime, poverty, teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse. Raising awareness for this important issue is important, Tillinghast noted.

In addition to TCPLS, One Book partners include: The Bookshelf, Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP), Friends of the Library, Office of Mainstreet and Tourism, Southwest Georgia Technical College, Thomas University, and Thomasville Center for the Arts.
“It’s been exciting to see so many groups in our community work together to create an event like this. We’re especially thankful for the artistic flare provided by the Center for the Arts and their many artists. Of course, none of this would be possible without our One Book sponsors,” Tillinghast added.

One Book sponsors have provided critical funding for One Book. They are The Bookshelf, CLCP, Cherokee Foundation, First Commerce Credit Union, Friends of the Library, Nancy Tillinghast, Southwest Georgia Technical College Foundations, Thomas County Public Library System, Thomas University, Thomasville
Center for the Arts, Thomasville National Bank, Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Turner, Williams Family Foundation, and WPAX/WTUF.

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