COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library is partnering with national bestselling author Wil Haygood, Mayor Michael Coleman and Columbus City Schools to announce a community-wide reading initiative to encourage central Ohioans to read the same book at the same time – during the six week program from Sept. 28 to Nov. 12.
The initiative – “Columbus READS: One City, One Book,” featuring Haygood’s new book, Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America – will be formally announced at a media event at East High School on Monday, Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. Following brief remarks by CCS Superintendent Dr. Dan Good, Mayor Coleman and CML CEO Patrick Losinski, Haygood will speak to students and hold a brief Q-and-A.
The event is open to members of the media.
Haygood, who hails from Columbus, is a bestselling author and former journalist whose 2008 Washington Post feature about a longtime White House butler served as inspiration for a book as well as the 2013 motion picture Lee Daniels’ The Butler. His new book, Showdown, set to be published Sept. 15, chronicles the nomination and confirmation hearings of America’s first black Supreme Court justice.
“How fortunate are we to have an acclaimed national author with such strong Columbus roots and passion for connecting with students?” said CML CEO Patrick Losinski. “We believe that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony, and we’re eager to share Wil’s new book with our city to foster thoughtful community discussion.”
The author of seven nonfiction books, Haygood was born in Columbus and has written a trilogy of biographies of iconic 20th century figures that the Los Angeles Times praised as "culturally important" in American letters. He served as an associate producer of the 2013 major motion picture Lee Daniels’ The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey.
In 2013, Haygood was honored with the Ella Baker Award. The Ellas honor social change leaders whose inspiring and groundbreaking achievements build community strength and promote peace, justice and opportunity.
He is an alumnus of Franklin Heights High School as well as Miami University. Haygood currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Columbus Metropolitan Library has served the people of Franklin County, Ohio since 1873. With its Main Library and 22 branches, CML is well known for signature services and programs like Homework Help Centers, Reading Buddies, Summer Reading Club and Ready for Kindergarten. The library’s Strategic Plan supports the vision of “a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” which positions CML to respond to areas of urgent need: kids unprepared for kindergarten, third grade reading proficiency, high school graduation, college readiness and employment resources.
CML was named a 2011 National Medal Winner by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for work in community service, the highest honor for libraries and museums. Columbus Metropolitan Library has been rated a 5-Star Library by Library Journal for seven of the eight years the magazine has published its industry ratings.