BC Reads, the Library Media Center’s literacy program which annually selects a book for the campus to read, has selected this year’s book: “Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future.” Written by Bill McKibben in 2007, the book addresses the interconnectedness of our daily lifestyle choices and their impacts on the earth and its resources.
Wilma Dougherty, a librarian at the LMC and chair of the BC Reads selection committee, commented on this year’s choice, saying, “I think we picked “Deep Economy” because it provides ideas about how to use our resources more thoughtfully, and gives us hope that our situation can improve.”
According to McKibben’s website, the book’s central idea is “that we need to move beyond growth, as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment.”
The selection committee chooses each year’s title. “Any member of the BC community can nominate a title for the following year,” said Dougherty. Dougherty and her colleagues ask that four criteria be met by any submission: that the book sparks passionate discussion, that it be relevant to current society and/or have local relevance, that it be no longer than 300 pages and written in a way that individual chapters can be studied on their own, and finally, that it be recent. Submissions must be accompanied by 100-word statement explaining how the book meets these requirements.
This is to be the 11th annual BC Reads the book, and it officially kicks off in winter quarter. The program provides students not only with a platform to discuss contemporary literature, but with an opportunity to win scholarships as well. Two scholarships of $1000 each will be awarded to two students (or groups of students) who read the book and then submit an insightful project that analyzes the text. Information regarding how to enter the contest is available on the LMC website.
Winning submissions from previous years are on display in the library, and they are not just essays. Some students have made elaborate art displays, such as the winning submission from the first ever BC Reads book, Longitude. Many of these works are displayed behind the multimedia counter in the library, opposite the media viewing rooms in the very back. “Each title is amazing to me,” Dougherty said. “They each have brought out something new and I’ve learned something from each one.”
Students are encouraged to start reading the text and sign up for the program. It is the LMC’s hope that an engaging discussion will be born from the study of the book and that students will take creative license in their presentation on the material.