November 9, 2020

Libraries partner to encourage central Ohioans to read and discuss the same book

Partner libraries hope to inspire critical dialogue about race

COLUMBUS—Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has partnered with eight central Ohio library systems for a citywide reading initiative, Let’s Talk About Race: One Book – One Community.

The program invites central Ohioans to read the same book, STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, and join in the community conversation from Nov. 9 to Jan. 24, 2021. Visit or your nearest library to learn more.

“At Columbus Metropolitan Library, our vision is a thriving community where wisdom prevails,” said CML Chief Community Engagement Officer, Donna Zuiderweg. “With this partnership, we hope to encourage central Ohioans of all ages to consider reading this title together as a basis for critical discussion.”

Let’s Talk About Race: One Book – One Community encourages friends, families and neighbors to share their personal experience while reading the same book. The goal is to engage and connect the community in dialogue while promoting tolerance and understanding about different points of view.

Participating libraries are encouraging public participation with the social media hashtag #centralohioreads. Readers are invited to post and share photos, reflections and resources.

The 11-week program will conclude with a free virtual author talk featuring Jason Reynolds on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Participating libraries: Bexley Public Library, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Grandview Heights Public Library, London Public Library, Plain City Public Library, Southwest Public Libraries, Upper Arlington Public Library, Westerville Public Library and Worthington Libraries.

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 Challenge 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 and career 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. CML was also named 2010 Library of the Year by Library Journal.