Everybody Reads project featuring Wes Moore launches this weekend

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dec. 29, 2010 — What if everybody read the same book? We'd talk to each other about issues that matter, and we'd celebrate the power of books in creating a stronger community. For the ninth annual installment of Multnomah County Library’s Everybody Reads project, the book selected to prompt meaningful questions and discussions is The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. Everybody Reads 2011 begins January 2 and culminates March 7, when the author visits Portland.

The Other Wes Moore is the story of two boys with similar backgrounds but very different destinies. It is an especially powerful story about hope, the influence of family and community, opportunity, and the cultural and societal barriers to success. It is a story that transcends race and will resonate with anyone who is, or has ever been, at a crossroads.

There a several ways to participate in Everybody Reads 2011. First, readers can borrow or download the book or audiobook from the library. While supplies last, all library locations will offer free extra copies of the book that don’t need to be checked out and won’t accrue late charges. Readers are encouraged to share these special copies with friends, coworkers and neighbors. (Items checked out from the library must be returned or renewed as usual.)

Then, readers can share their thoughts and learn more at numerous book groups, lectures and panel discussions held at libraries, local bookstores and elsewhere in the community throughout February. Last, the library encourages readers to find out what they can do to make a difference in their own lives or in the life of a young person, and provides resources to help.

All library locations will have a supply of books, display items, informational bookmarks and project guides.

With support from The Library Foundation and the Regional Arts & Culture Council, more than 2,000 students from across the county will receive copies of the book to read and study in class. Thanks to Literary Arts, these students will also have free admission to hear Wes Moore speak when he visits the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on March 7. This lecture is presented in partnership with Literary Arts and Everybody Reads 2011.

"It’s an incredible honor to participate in Multnomah County Library's Everybody Reads 2011 program," said author Wes Moore. "Ultimately, my hope for the book was that it would provoke conversations about the most universal issues, about choice and accountability, not just for each of us as individuals, but for all of us as a society. I eagerly look forward to joining that conversation with you during this program."

Everybody Reads 2011 is made possible in part by The Library Foundation, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Literary Arts and is supported by Portland State University.

About Multnomah County Library

Multnomah County Library is the oldest public library west of the Mississippi, with a history that reaches back to 1864. Today, Central Library and the other 18 neighborhood libraries that make up the library system house about 700 computers for the public and a collection of two million books and other library materials. As Oregon's largest public library, Multnomah County Library serves nearly one-fifth of the state's population with a wide variety of programs and services.