Reading Together: Getting Us Through Winter for 15 Years

Feb 23, 2017

Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ann Rohrbaugh and Reading Together Coordinator Karen Trout reflect on the 15 years of Reading Together.
Credit Earlene McMichael | WMUK

At a time when some community read programs have shut down, Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ann Rohrbaugh says her institution's Reading Together will be reaching its 15th milestone anniversary in March. She says picking books with potential for lively discussions, often around social issues, is its winning formula. This year's selection is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White," a book of essays about race relations. He'll speak in Kalamazoo on March 14.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Credit Courtesy photo

KPL Director Ann Rohrbaugh and Reading Together Coordinator Karen Trout are today's guests on WestSouthwest, the public-affairs show of WMUK 102.1 FM, an NPR station owned by Western Michigan University. The pair take us back to the beginning -- how the program came about 15 years ago, how it's evolved, why it remains popular and some of its more memorable moments, as well as preview Abdul-Jabbar's book. (Note: Press the button above to hear the interview.) 

Both Rohrbaugh and Trout say another critical key to the Reading Together program's success is bringing the featured author to town.

NBA basketball legend-turned-writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 14 at Miller Auditorium on the WMU campus. The evening will also feature Tim Terrentine, Western's vice president for development and alumni relations, interviewing the author onstage.

Tickets are not required to this free, public event


Reading Together Book 2017
Credit Courtesy photo

A shorter version of the WestSouthwest interview will air on WMUK's Arts & More show on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Click on the icon below to listen now. 

(Are you looking for a "Writings on the Wall" book discussion? Click here for a complete list .)