GLOVERSVILLE-The Gloversville Public Library is moving forward with the voting for the Gloversville READS! 2013 program that started in December, when local people were asked to nominate books that would be good for the entire community to read and discuss this year.
A community reading program is about bringing a community together through a common book, Library Director Barbara Madonna said.
By reading, discussing and exploring the topic with related programming, the community is able to strengthen its commitment to reading while finding out new details about itself and the citizens living here, she said. The library also will develop programming and special events to accompany the theme of the book that will be selected.
The finalists for the Gloversville READS! book for 2013 are, from left: Pulitzer Prizer and Gloversville native Richard Russo’s memoir “Elsewhere”; “Following Atticus,” a story about newspaperman Tom Ryan’s hiking adventure with his dog; “Sarah’s Key,” a historical novel by Tatiana De Rosnay about the 1942 roundups and deportation of Jews in Paris; “She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall,” a book by Misty Bernall about one of the students killed by schoolmates at Columbine High; and W. Bruce Cameron’s “A Dog’s Purpose,” which explores the unique relationship between humans and their companions.
Twenty-three titles were nominated, and the READ! Committee - consisting of library staff members and trustees, community members and Gloversville Enlarged School District representatives - narrowed the list to five finalists.
The finalists are "Elsewhere: A Memoir" by Gloversville native Richard Russo, "Following Atticus" by Tom Ryan, "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana De Rosnay, "She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall" by Misty Bernall, and "A Dog's Purpose" by W. Bruce Cameron.
"The 2012 READ, our first year, did not include a forum for the community to participate in the selection of the title, so I feel the fact that we received 23 nominations and so many votes demonstrates that we have already succeeded in our mission to get the community involved," Madonna said. "Each one of the titles lends itself to a lot of interesting program options, and I hope the community will attend those events as well as read the final selection."
Madonna said the library has five copies of each of the five finalist books, so people may check them out before voting. The library plans to purchase numerous copies of the book that ultimately is selected.
Voting for the final selection officially opened Jan. 18. By Thursday, the survey already had 559 votes on the online polling site SurveyMonkey, Madonna said.
"Though other libraries, such as Schenectady County and Saratoga Springs use online voting exclusively, we did not want to ignore the segment of our community that is not 'plugged in'; therefore, we are also offering paper ballots," Madonna said.
Ballots are available at the library and at many downtown businesses. Readers can vote online by following a link from www.gloversvillelibrary.org.
Voting will conclude Feb. 15. The winning book and details of related programs and activities will be announced March 15.
Last year, the library hosted a number of baseball-themed events in conjunction with several other community organizations. Children were encouraged to read and reflect on Ernest Lawrence Thayer's 1888 poem "Casey at the Bat," and the community title for adults was W. P. Kinsella's "Shoeless Joe," the novel that was later adapted into the movie "Field of Dreams."
The library hosted discussions of "Shoeless Joe," a talk about "Casey at the Bat" by University at Albany Professor Rob Edelman, trips to see the Tri-Valley Cats in Troy and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and a baseball-themed Gloversville Civic Band concert.
Madonna said the children's selection will be determined after the main title is selected, but several of the nominated books are teen-friendly.
"We might have an elementary-school companion book, but it really depends on what title is selected," Madonna said. "If a memoir wins, we might offer a memoir-writing workshop; if one of the dog books win, we could do a community service project with one of the shelters in the area or have a service dog come visit, and if a hiking book wins, we might partner with the Adirondack Mountain Club to do a workshop about hiking in the local area. It really just depends, but there are a lot of potential programs with each of these titles."
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.