After a five-month-long process including 38 book candidates, the Fairfield Public Library and Pequot Library One Book One Town selection committee today announced Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer as their official pick. This is the fourth year that the town has participated in the national One Book One Town (OBOT) event and it’s always included a memorable author visit and a wide variety of high quality companion events.
At today’s press conference Town Librarian Karen Ronald described the selection process as “trying but rewarding” and one that included patron suggestions. Mary Coe, Branch Reference Librarian, said the author “thought it would become become a straightforward case for vegetarianism, but it did not” in response to a question about whether the book espouses vegetarianism. It’s a book that does “not dictate, but rather informs our choices and is one that needs to be shared” clarified Coe.
Nicole Scherer, Teen Services Librarian, called Jonathan Safran Foer a “masterful writer” who was recently named a Top 20 Under 40 author by the New Yorker magazine. According to Scherer, the book is written for adults but could be appropriate for “older high school teens.” She added that “Our Farm is the official children’s companion book” and there will be “book discussions and activities for all ages” with community partners. OBOT is meant to “bring communities together around the ideas in a book”, she explained, and the library’s expectation was that Eating Animals would “inspire thoughtful conversation between our families and each other.”
In January the full program calendar for March will be announced, but they shared that the author visit will be held on March 29 at Warde High School. A writing contest including adults, teens and kids will invite the public to share our own personal memoirs about eating. Joanne Huss is designing the OBOT poster this year, which has always been a great item to have signed at the author visit.
Library staff and First Selectman Ken Flatto thanked the Friends of the Library for their supporting, citing how the event would not be possible without it.
Borrow a copy from the library or purchase one at Borders and join the conversation on the library’s OBOT blog. Many of us are celebrating this choice since it will encourage a town wide discussion about the story behind our food. Where did it come from? Who grew it? How was the animal raised and slaughtered? What did it eat? How did it get to my plate and how much of it was wasted along the way? What is the impact on the environment and human health?
Glen Colello of Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe was at the event and shared that he’s planning a different film screening each Thursday during the month of March in support of the event. I asked Ken Flatto to consider a town wide sponsorship of Meatless Mondays and he’s actually considering the idea. Times, they are a changing.