Drake Community Library hosts Open Book event

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Drake Community Library is collaborating with CultureALL, a non-profit organization based in Des Moines, to bring the Open Book concept to Grinnell.  

Open Book, designed to create conversations between people who may have very different life experiences, will come to Drake Community Library, on Saturday, November 2, from 10 a.m. until noon with a soup lunch to follow for all participants and attendees. Participation in the project challenges stereotypes and promotes social cohesion through dialogue. 

“We are thrilled to be able to bring this opportunity for community engagement to the Library,” says Marilyn Kennett, Library Director.  “The event will truly bring your reading experience to life because those in attendance become “readers” of “living books”.  Five individuals, four of whom are local residents, will be sharing a defining moment from their lives in a one-on-one conversational setting. This is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of our community and our world,” said Kennett.

CultureALL was established in 2005.  Originally incorporated as World of Difference, Sherry Gupta, a 1988 Grinnell College graduate, is the founder and Executive Director.  Today, CultureALL continues to be dedicated to helping communities value central Iowa’s culturally rich diversity.  Three of those selected to share their stories are originally from other countries, having emigrated from Egypt, Somaliland, and Swaziland.  A fourth “book” is the mother of a multicultural family and a fifth “book” has experienced life challenges after the sudden death of his wife.

Patrons of this human library can check out a living book for a private 10 to 15-minute conversation. Participants will start by browsing a catalog and then head to the Open Book check-out desk in the Caulkins Community Room where they can check out as many books as they like.  Librarians will be on hand to guide readers to their human book selections.  Lunch, provided by Grinnell College Center for the Humanities, will be available at noon for all who wish to stay for the soup buffet-style meal.

This event is generously sponsored by Total Choice Shipping, RE/MAX Partners Realty, Ramsey-Weeks, Inc., Grinnell College Center for Humanities, and the Friends of Drake Community Library.  All Drake Community Library programs are free and open to the public.  The library is located at 930 Park Street in Grinnell and is accessible to those with disabilities.  

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