About Centre County Reads

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How it Started

Since 1998, when Seattle asked its residents to read Russell Banks' The Sweet Hereafter, the idea of a community reading and talking about the same book has spread across the United States and to countries as far away as Australia. The idea spawned "One City, One Book" events, county- and state-wide programs, and even the nationwide All America Reads and Canada Reads projects.

Centre County's efforts began early in 2002 when a group of book folks from the library, education, literacy, and bookstore communities began to discuss the merits of a county-wide effort to share a book. In 2003, Centre County residents read and discussed Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The community response was terrific, and so the project continued.

Mission Statement

Centre County Reads encourages county residents of all ages to explore the human condition and the issues of community by reading the same book and coming together in discussions anytime, anywhere, with anyone.

Book Selection Guidelines

Centre County Reads selects books that…

  • promote meaningful discussion for a wide range of ages,
  • are reflective of universal issues common to the majority of Centre County residents,
  • are written at a reading level accessible to emerging adult readers, and
  • are available in a variety of formats, including an inexpensive paperback edition that is readily obtainable.


The Centre County Reads Coordinators

Centre County Reads is a joint effort by several local libraries, school districts, organizations, and businesses. Representatives from those groups organize the event, and supported by local generous sponsors and community volunteers.

Chair: Maria Burchill, Adult Services Department Head, Schlow Library



Center For American Literary Studies--Penn State

153 Burrowes Building
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802

    Centre County Library & Historical Museum

    Bellefonte | Aaronsburg | Centre Hall | Philipsburg | Bookmobile
    200 North Allegheny Street
    Bellefonte, PA 16823

    Centre Daily Times

3400 E. College Ave.
State College, PA 16801
200 Short St
Philipsburg,PA 16866

    The Pennsylvania Center for the Book

510 Paterno Library
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802-1812

Schlow Centre Region Library

211 S. Allen St.
State College, PA 16801

    State College School District

131 W. Nittany Ave.
State College, PA 16801