One Book, One Community

Back in 2007 the library, along with several local sponsors, hosted a Big Read event for Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The program was well received and repeated the following year featuring The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. As a new desk clerk, and also a library science student, I was thrilled to see the community come together to celebrate literacy and bring literature into daily discussions with friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure grant funding to continue the program in 2009.

Fast forward nearly a decade, and the library is once again joining forces with local partners to promote a community-wide reading program. One Book, One Community is a reading program designed to encourage literacy and community involvement by reading a single book which highlights issues relevant to our community. The selected book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City gives voice to the experiences of families whose lives have been impacted by an increasingly untenable housing situation.

The library, thanks to a donation from the Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, has more than 100 copies of the book for community members to check out. Our hope is that folks will read the book and then participate in one or more of the events below, which will take place January 31-February 4. Events will be held at our library and our partners at UW – Eau Claire McIntyre Library will also be hosting two events. Even if you don’t have time to read the book, we welcome you to learn more about how eviction and poverty affect our community, and what can be done to prevent homelessness.

Tuesday, January 31: Book Discussions
12–1 p.m. • UW – Eau Claire Campus, Old Library Room 1142
6–7:30 p.m. • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
Facilitators will lead discussions of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Wednesday, February 1: UW – Eau Claire Faculty Panel Discussion
4–5:30 p.m. • McIntyre Library, 2nd Floor Breezeway
UW – Eau Claire faculty will share their research for a better understanding of the topics covered in the book Evicted.

Thursday, February 2: Eviction and Poverty in the Chippewa Valley
6–7:30 p.m. • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
Moderated panel discussion focused on how eviction and homelessness impact the Chippewa Valley.

Saturday, February 4: Housing Inspections and the Health Department
10:30 a.m.– noon • L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
Learn about Health Department programs to support safe and sanitary living conditions, how to report a complaint, and what the Health Department looks for during complaint and housing inspections.

For more information on these programs, go to

One Book, One Community is supported by the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library, and Friends of the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library.

  1. Amy Renshaw
    Amy Renshaw says:

    I’m about halfway through the book and finding it compelling. It seems to invite a conversation about combatting racial, ethnic, and economic prejudice. Are there any events planned that specifically address that topic? Thanks!


Add a Comment

Now we'd like to hear your thoughts! Comments and suggestions are welcome!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments must adhere to our Comment Policy.
Your email address will not be published.