Beginning in February 2008, the Friends of the North Plains Public Library have sponsored an annual One Book One Community Program which features a month long series of events centered around a chosen book. Hundreds of books are distributed free of charge to community members who wish to participate in the program.
Community Reading projects benefit a library in several ways, some quantifiable, others not. The most important non-quantifiable benefit is this: Community Reading projects position the library as a major player in the cultural life of a community. The library is no longer simply a place to come to use the computers, or to find information, or the most recent best-seller (all vital aspects of the library’s mission in themselves, of course); rather, the library becomes a destination for people who are interested in discussing books, a venue for author visits and for other cultural and humanities programs. One Book, One Community projects are an excellent way to start building a community of readers that finds its home base in the library.
Running the Rift follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, a gifted Rwandan boy, from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life, a ten-year span in which his country is undone by the Hutu-Tutsi tensions. Born a Tutsi, he is thrust into a world where it’s impossible to stay apolitical—where the man who used to sell you gifts for your family now spews hatred, where the girl who flirted with you in the lunchroom refuses to look at you, where your Hutu coach is secretly training the very soldiers who will hunt down your family.
Yet in an environment increasingly restrictive for the Tutsi, he holds fast to his dream of becoming Rwanda’s first Olympic medal contender in track, a feat he believes might deliver him and his people from this violence. When the killing begins, Jean Patrick is forced to flee, leaving behind the woman, the family, and the country he loves. Finding them again is the race of his life.
Upcoming Events in February 2014:
All events are free and open to the public.
Saturday, February 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the North Plains Public Library
This kick-off event features Sam Munyandamutsa of the Pacific Northwest Rwandan Association who will provide Rwandan food and share his story. Free copies of Running the Rift will be distributed.
Saturday, February 8, 1-2:30 p.m. at the Jessie Mays Community Hall, 30975 NW Hillcrest Street
This special Super Saturday event features the Kukatonon Children’s African Dance Troupe performing traditional African dances with two drummers.
The performance is suitable for all ages.
Thursday, February 13, 7 p.m. at the North Plains Public Library
Musician Enric Sifa will perform Rwandan songs and tell his story of growing up during the Rwandan Genocide.
Friday, February 21, 7 p.m., North Plains Public Library
Movie showing of God Sleeps in Rwanda, a 2005 short documentary film, and Hotel Rwanda, a 2004 PG-13 rated drama.
God Sleeps in Rwanda is an inspiring story of loss and redemption. It tells the story of women survivor’s spirit to overcome the genocide’s devastating legacy. The film follows five courageous women as they rebuild their lives, and, in doing so, redefine women’s roles in Rwandan society and bring hope to a wounded nation.
Hotel Rwanda is set in 1994 during the Rwandan Genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 people, mainly Tutsi, were killed by Hutu extremists. It is the story of a hotel manager who saves the lives of 1,200 people who have come into his care by using his skills of bribery, flattery, apology and deception.
Thursday, February 27, 7 p.m. at the North Plains Public Library
Book discussion of Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron.
On October 12, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. the Friends hosted a Preview Party at the Library featuring local art, music, and refreshments to celebrate the beginning of the 7th annual One Book, One Community program at the North Plains Public Library. Free copies of Benamen’s book were distributed to anyone with a Washington County library card. More copies will be available in February 2014.
This preview event featured the opening of a unique art exhibit by SPLASH, a group of Willamette Valley artists, that used the novel Running the Rift as inspiration for visual art. Nineteen artists employed various media to present their personal vision of the novel’s themes and place.
The Friends of the North Plains Public Library are proud to have won a grant from the Cultural Coalition of Washington County to help with funding for the 2014 One Book One Community program.
One Book One Community – 2013
For our 6th annual One Book One Community program the chosen book was “Mink River” by Brian Doyle.
The Friends of the North Plains Public Library arranged for speakers and cultural entertainment throughout the month of February 2013. All “One Book, One Community” events were free.
One Book One Community – 2012
For our 5th annual One Book One Community program the chosen book was “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese.
The Friends of the North Plains Public Library arranged for speakers and cultural entertainment throughout the month of February 2012. All “One Book, One Community” events were free.
One Book One Community – 2011
In 2011, the chosen book for our 4th annual One Book One Community reading program was “The Whistling Season” by Ivan Doig. Selected to commemorate the centennial of the city of North Plains, the book is set in 1911, and although the setting is in rural Montana, life may not be that much different than in Washington County during the same time period.
The Friends of the North Plains Public Library arranged for speakers and cultural entertainment throughout the month of February 2011. All “One Book, One Community” events were free.
One Book One Community – 2010
In 2010, the book, “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations,” by Greg Mortenson was the chosen book. To enhance the reading and understanding of Mortenson’s work, Friends of the North Plains Library arranged for speakers and cultural entertainment throughout the month. All “One Book, One Community” events are free.
One Book One Community – 2009
In 2009, the book “Stubborn Twig” by Lauren Kessler was chosen. A wide variety of events were sponsored by the Friends of the North Plains Public Library to enhance the understanding of the Japanese internment program during World War II as described in the book.
One Book One Community – 2008
In 2008, the book “Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon was chosen as Community Reads book.