The committee met. The public voted. And for the 2014 One Book, One Community program, readers in six counties will dive into “The Worst Hard Time,” by Timothy Egan.
One Book, One Community, launched in 2004, encourages readers in several counties — this year, York, Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry — to borrow the book from their local libraries and discuss it with friends, family and neighbors.
The nonfiction title focuses on the 1930s Dust Bowl, seen through the eyes of families who watched their homes and farms crumble right in front of them.
“I almost can’t believe that it was as bad as it was,” said Karen Hostetter, York’s One Book, One Community coordinator. “I don’t think I ever knew that it was that horrendous.”
This year marks the first time OBOC organizers allowed the public to choose the final pick. Nearly half of the 800-plus votes tallied in October went toward “The Worst Hard Time,” Hostetter said.
Each of York County Libraries’ 13 locations will receive copies of the book in late December so the community has a chance to read before programs begin in late January. It will be the first year the OBOC program shifts to a winter read.
“There are too many things going on in the fall,” Hostetter said in an August interview. “Not just in libraries, but back to school (as well).”
Announcing the title early, though, gives readers and book groups time to plan, she said. As organizers finalize programs, Hostetter is also hoping some community members might step forward to volunteer their experiences.
“Maybe we can draw some people in who would have something to share about the stories about the Dust Bowl,” she said.