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Shaker Heights, OH -- September 21, 2001-- Libraries throughout the North Coast region surrounding Cleveland will sponsor North Coast Neighbors Share a Book beginning in January and culminating with National Library Week, April 14-20, 2022.

Patterned after similar programs in Seattle, Chicago, and other major cities, adults and teens throughout the North Coast region will be asked to read the same book at the same time. They will then gather in various forums, like coffeehouses, libraries, bookstores, or on a web site to share their ideas. Some of the discussions may be formal panel discussions; while others will be less formal, as neighbors or groups of employees gather to discuss the book and the social issues it raises. The Planning Committee welcomes other tie-ins to the book discussion, like theatre performances, essays, film presentations, etc. Foundation funding will be sought to cover some of the extraordinary expenses related to the program.

The book that has been chosen is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The book, filled with important themes like civil rights, social justice, and legal ethics welcomes broad participation. It won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Libraries and bookstores are being asked to order ample copies of the book in preparation for the January start-up date.

Because there are so many libraries in the North Coast region, it seemed natural that this program be coordinated by the Cleveland Area Metropolitan Library System (CAMLS), a coordinating agency which currently has 73 member libraries. It is located at 20600 Chagrin Blvd., in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

"If our program is as successful as it has been in other major cities, people will be clamoring to read the book so they can participate in all the discussion that will be going on," said CAMLS Executive Director Michael G. Snyder. "This holds the promise of being one of the most energizing and rewarding projects in libraries," said Snyder.