One Book, One Oak Park

A new edition of Oak Park’s Community Summer Reading Series returns this June. Please check back on this page in late spring for more details about titles and community events intended to bring us all together!

During the summer of 2019, we explored the public good of social infrastructure and built community by reading, gathering, and discussing themes from Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People.

About this title

In Palaces for the People, best-selling author and eminent sociologist Eric Klinenberg offers an inspiring blueprint for rebuilding our fractured society. We are living in a time of deep divisions. Americans are sorting themselves along racial, religious, and cultural lines, leading to a level of polarization that the country hasn’t seen since the Civil War. Pundits and politicians are calling for us to come together, to find common purpose. But how, exactly, can this be done? Klinenberg suggests a way forward.

Thank you, Eric!

More than 125 community members, Oak Park stakeholders, and public library staff met the author on June 5 at the Main Library. Watch and listen to the Facebook Live recording, which begins a few minutes into the program »

A Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University, Klinenberg has published scholarly work in journals including the American Sociological Review, Theory and Society, and Ethnography. He is the author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (The Penguin Press, 2012); Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media (Metropolitan Books, 2007); and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2002). Follow him on Twitter »

It’s about building community

“This is a timely and relevant title in today’s divisive climate,” said Juanita Harrell, One Book Coordinator and Health & Wellness Librarian. “It discusses how social infrastructure creates an environment that leads to better opportunities for people to succeed, particularly when a disaster strikes. It also shows how public libraries, parks, churches, nonprofit organizations, and local stores help a neighborhood and the people living there survive and thrive when times get tough.”

Where to find Palaces for the People

Borrow this title from any Oak Park library location and as an ebook and digital audiobook through OverDrive.

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Watch the video

Hear author and sociologist Eric Klinenberg in conversation with the Strand’s Dorian Warren:

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