Our Opinion: Lake Oswego Reads program continues to unite an entire community
Congratulations for 10 amazing years to all of the people responsible for Lake Oswego Reads. This is an important milestone for an event that has blossomed into a community reading program that is the envy of other libraries and cities all over the state.
Who would have guessed that the idea of an entire city experiencing the same book together an idea that Library Director Bill Baars imagined would involve maybe a couple hundred people would evolve into a signature event that unites the whole community for an entire month?
Baars, program coordinator Cyndie Glazer, the selection and event committees and the entire library staff deserve a standing ovation for their commitment to making that happen.
This February, an astounding 47 events were held in support of Lake Oswego Reads, including art tours, art shows, student art exhibits, author talks, book group discussions, hikes, bike trips, food tastings and even a salmon bake all related in some way to this years selection, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, by Timothy Egan.
The diversity and appeal of all these events are equally important to celebrate, because its difficult for any book to unify a community if the events dont appeal to all ages and to a wide variety of interests. And thats exactly what Lake Oswego Reads has accomplished.
Just as important as the events are the educational ramifications of a program like Lake Oswego Reads. Not only does it educate all who participate by transporting them to another time and place, but it also helps break the bubble that is Lake Oswego. Young and old alike are educated about the diversity of the world and how fortunate we are to live in a community as blessed as Lake Oswego.
But what truly made this year even more special was how the business community rallied to financially support the event.
Despite the success of Lake Ooswego Reads, generating sponsorship dollars to support the program each year is never an easy ask. For the 10th anniversary, in fact, the committee charged with this task struggled to find one business willing to step forward to be the presenting sponsor.
Finally, just days before the official program was to be printed, the Lake Oswego Review offered to match half the cost of the presenting sponsorship if local businesses would donate $250 each to cover the other half. Within one day, 17 businesses, community organizations and individuals accepted this challenge and rallied together to pledge their support.
Weve listed the names of all these sponsors here, and we hope youll thank them for their commitment.
Such support from the community is important, not only in helping to assure that Lake Oswego Reads continues, but also because it is another clear example of how even in a community like Lake Oswego it still falls on the shoulders of local organizations, local businesses and community members to support such a wonderful community event.
So if youre one of the thousands of people who this month had the chance to partake in one of the 47 Lake Oswego Reads events, please say thank you by spending your shopping dollars locally with businesses that support our community. Your patronage will go a long way in making sure that Lake Oswego stays the same great community that it is and that programs like Lake Oswego Reads continue.
J. Brian Monihan
2016 Community Sponsors
-- AKT, CPAs and Business Consultants
-- Babica Hen Café
-- Buckley Law
-- City of Lake Oswego
-- Craig Childress, Oswego Wealth Management
-- John and Priscilla DeCosta, Keller Williams
-- Friends of the Library
-- Glazer, Maurer & Peterson, P.C.
-- Paul and Teri Graham
-- Gubancs Pub and Restaurant
-- Drs. Bill and Ricky Korach
-- Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce
-- Lake Oswego Review
-- Lake Oswego School District
-- Lake Oswego Vision Clinic
-- Lakewood Center for the Arts
-- Oswego Heritage Council
-- Shorenstein Properties
-- Stafford Hills Club