A Novel Idea... Unveiled!: Join Us December 1

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  11/8/2017

In 2004 the television sitcom Friends went off the air, Facebook came online for the first time, and Ron Chernow’s book Alexander Hamilton—the inspiration for Hamilton: An American Musical—was published. It was also the first year that Central Oregonians were introduced to “A Novel Idea,” a community read program that aimed to get as many people as possible to read and discuss the same book.


Now, 15 years later, the Deschutes Public Library Foundation will reveal the next “A Novel Idea” selection at a public celebration of this successful program’s growing role in the lives of Central Oregon readers. The unveiling of the 2018 selection takes place on Friday, December 1, at the Downtown Bend Library. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., with a silent auction, light appetizers and a no-host bar for attendees. The 2018 “A Novel Idea” selection will be revealed at 7:30 p.m., with books available for sale and for check-out.


“We have readers that have been a part of ‘A Novel Idea’ since the beginning back in 2004,” said Chantal Strobel, Communications & Development Manager for Deschutes Public Library. “It’s fun to see our loyal readers year after year as the program grows, and we’re also seeing hundreds of new faces every year. The growth of ‘A Novel Idea’—from 400 people in 2004 to nearly 7,000 people in 2017—is very rewarding.”


“A Novel Idea” is the largest community read program in Oregon—more than 6,900 people engaged with the program in 2017. The books, which are chosen by a committee made up of library staff and community members, have taken readers from Ghana to Afghanistan, and from the American south to the Alaskan frontier, and to time periods that span centuries. The free programming that supports the selected book includes academic lectures, art workshops, cooking demonstrations and more.


“A Novel Idea” Program Coordinator, Liz Goodrich, says the success of the project comes from the thousands of Deschutes County residents who embrace the program and participate actively in its free cultural events and author visits every year. Planning for “A Novel Idea” 2018 is already underway. “Planning the programs to support each year’s selected book is a big part of the fun,” she says. “Our community is filled with life-long learners with a thirst for new experiences and new knowledge. I feel like we raise the bar every year to meet their expectations, which is in large part why the program has been so successful year after year.”


Goodrich said roughly two dozen cultural programs are in the works; they’ll build and expand the themes of the book for deeper discussion and understanding. The library also provides book club kits to local book groups throughout Deschutes County, free of charge. Book club representatives can call (541) 312-1032 or email to reserve a kit.


Programming for “A Novel Idea” officially kicks off Saturday, April 14, 2018 and culminates with the author’s visit to Central Oregon in early May. All programs, including the author’s presentation, are offered to the public free of charge thanks to the support of the Deschutes Public Library Foundation or more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 541-312-1032.

Page Last Modified Wednesday, March 8, 2023