Reading without Walls Recap

Sometimes we all need to move outside our comfort zones, and what better way to do that than through reading? Of course, the library is ready and willing to help! So this winter, we offered our patrons the Reading without Walls Challenge. It asked them to:

  • Read about a character who doesn’t look like or live like them
  • Read a book on a topic they don’t know much about
  • Read a book in a format they don’t normally read for fun

At the end, we asked participants what they read and what they learned. The answers were fascinating! People read about diverse topics like growing up under apartheid, the history of Iran, and the great Halifax explosion of 1917. Here are some of the books:

Our patrons really learned a lot. Here are some quotes:

“Who knew [the U.S.] once wanted to annex our [Canadian] neighbor to the north?”

“I got to know about how to be confident … to eliminate stress and mold my failure into strength.”

“There are more molecules of H2O in a glass of water than there are glasses of water in the entire world!”

“I learned that even if a character or real life person comes from a different ethnicity, background, etc., I can still feel connected to them based on common experiences and feelings we share.”

“I think my wondering about living a while in rural Alaska has been stopped in its tracks.”

We also had a number of participants try audio books, especially e-audiobooks in our library apps, and discover that they liked them. We had some less successful attempts too, like the patron who said she would probably never read another graphic novel again. But that’s all good too – because at the end of the day, it’s all about trying new things! Have you read anything lately that taught you something new?

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