One City One Book: San Francisco Reads

A Good Idea


One City One Book: San Francisco Reads (OCOB) is an annual literary event that is centered on the selection, reading, and discussion of one book by the San Francisco community at the same time. The program aims to encourage enjoyment of reading, literacy, and community through a number of OCOB events including panel discussions about the book, film screenings, and author readings.

Books for the event are chosen by a selection committee, which is comprised of librarians and public library staff members, local bookstores, and other literary professionals. Selection criteria have been developed to identify appropriate books of high quality, such as focusing on a topic that is universal to San Franciscans, being available in multiple languages, is appealing to both adults and high-school age students, and is thought-provoking.

Goal / Mission

The goal of One City One Book: San Francisco Reads is to encourage enjoyment of reading, literacy, and community by having San Franciscans read and discuss the same book at the same time.

Results / Accomplishments

OCOB began in 2005 and has focused on one book each year since its inception. Past books have included "Zeitoun" by Dave Eggars, "Alive in Necropolis" by Doug Dorst, and "West of Kabul, East of New York" by Tamim Ansary. At this time no studies have been completed to quantify the impact of the program.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Laura Lent, Collections Development Manager
Education / Literacy
Education / Educational Attainment in Adult Population
Social Environment / Neighborhood/Community Attachment
San Francisco Public Library
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
San Francisco, CA
For more details
Target Audience
Teens, Adults, Women, Men, Elderly, Racial/Ethnic Minorities

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