Gaining Ground Tops One Book Votes!

Gaining Ground Book CoverRepresentatives from libraries in Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Perry and York Counties today announced the selection of Gaining Ground by Forrest Pritchard as the 2016 One Book, One Community selection.

Click Here to see if this book is available at your local library!

As part of the One Book, One Community campaign —now in its 13th year— organizers are continuing the public voting process. They have been pleased with the steady increase in community involvement, which is a clear indication that the public prefers having input for the title they would like to read and discuss. The public was asked to help choose a book from a narrowed-down list of titles that they would like to read and discuss with the community. The public vote took place during the entire month of August 2015. There were four titles chosen by the Book Selection Committee on this year’s voting ballot: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd; Gaining Ground by Forrest Pritchard; Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals.

Voters who cast their votes at local Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches locations were eligible to win a $100 Isaac’s Gift Card. The winner of the Isaac’s Gift Card is Barb Werodau of Newport, PA. Additionally, those people who voted online and also at public library locations throughout the region were eligible to win a $100 Giant Foods gift card —this year’s winner of the Giant Gift card is Javier Castro from Berks County.

This year’s OBOC regional campaign represents collaboration between 80 libraries in six counties: Berks, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York.
Reading campaign organizers encourage residents of the six-county region to read the book during December and January in preparation to attend free programs and discussions that will be held at public libraries during February, which is designated as both Library Lovers’ Month and Book Lovers’ Month. Plans for a “Readers’ Celebration” are underway. This event honors the readers in our regional community for their participation in the campaign! Check the One Book website: for more information.

Libraries in the six counties will stock copies of the book that can be borrowed free of charge in January 2016. Books will also be available for purchase at local Giant Food Stores, Weis Markets, and Wegmans stores as well as Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books-A-Million and at local booksellers. Program schedules for book discussion groups, expert lectures and other innovative activities will be published in the January 2016 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine and will be available at all participating public libraries and throughout the community.
This information may also be accessed online at Nearly all the programming is free of charge.

About the Book
Gaining Ground by Forrest Pritchard
Fresh out of college, Forrest Pritchard had grand ideas about saving his family’s farm in Berryville, Virginia; but when all the expenses were paid and the grand profit was $18.16, he knew he had to do something differently and quickly. Having visited Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm, Forrest knew he could make a living from sustainable farming but just how he does it makes up his experiences in Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm. With plenty of humorous stories of both animals and humans, Pritchard charts his course from a know-nothing young farmer to a purveyor of sustainable, locally raised, high-class products sold at farmers’ markets in the Washington, DC area where Smith Meadows Farm continues to serve its customers every weekend.

About the Author
Forrest Pritchard is a seventh generation farmer and New York Times bestselling author, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William & Mary. Upon returning from college in the mid-90s, he took over his grandparents’ farm ⎯primarily growing GMO corn and soybeans⎯ hoping to make the land profitable for the first time in decades. On harvest day, when five tractor-trailer loads of grain reaped a meager paycheck of $18.16, he realized his family’s farm must radically change course. The following season, he devoted himself to farming organically and sustainably, raising free-range cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens.

Twenty years later, his farm Smith Meadows is one of the oldest “grass finished” farms in the country, and sells at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC. Chronicling his farming adventures, Forrest’s book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm was named a top read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s The Splendid Table, and made the New York Times Bestseller list.

To read Forrest Pritchard’s blog, visit: How the Books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected
The books on the Public Vote Ballot were selected by a Book Selection Committee that reviews a number of books before making their final decisions. The four choices for the public vote were based upon the following broad criteria:

  • A good, discussable book. Books that make successful subjects for discussion have well-developed characters who are challenged by issues in their lives with which readers can identify;
  • A book that is available in quantity at reasonable cost, in various media formats (paperback, large print, audio, CD, DVD, or video);
  • A book that is written at a high school reading level; and
  • A book that varies in type from others previously selected;
  • An author, or recognized experts on the author, who would be willing to engage in discussion with readers at several events

The idea of a community-wide reading of the same book came from the Seattle Public Library. Launched in 1998, “If all Seattle Read the Same Book” was the first effort to promote reading and civic engagement through a community reading project. Following their success, numerous cities and communities across the country have implemented a One Book campaign themselves. This regional reading campaign, dubbed One Book, One Community, is intended to promote the value of reading by recommending a compelling book that links the community in a common conversation. Several communities across the country have initiated “One Book” efforts, but One Book, One Community is the largest such effort in Pennsylvania with 80 participating libraries.

“It’s no surprise that this title was selected among voters in our six-county region! Organic farming and sustainable food production is at the heart of our agricultural community. It’s a departure from so many of our past titles — and that will be a welcome change!” said Mary Ann Heltshe-Steinhauer, community relations manager for the Library System of Lancaster County.
Major sponsors of One Book, One Community are WGAL TV 8, Isaac’s Restaurant and Deli, ShowcaseNow, The Fowler Family Foundation, Hudson News Company, and Giant Food Stores. Additionally, Library Trustees and Friends Groups from the region’s public libraries have contributed to this initiative. Glatfelter provided copies of this year’s book for outreach purposes throughout the six counties.

For more information an updates about the Campaign, go to:

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