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United We Read

Book Selection Criteria

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Guidelines for Evaluating and Considering a Book's Appeal

Vision Statement:

The vision of the program is to have the Kansas City Metropolitan region residents reading the same book at the same time and begin a community wide discussion around a common theme.


Promote reading and literacy
Build a community of readers
Broaden exposure to and appreciation for good literature

The committee's goal is to select a book with a broad-based appeal to readers of different backgrounds and reading levels.

The book should address themes, issues and topics that will encourage and sustain spirited discussion.

Primary Considerations: The Reader and The Discussion

To whom would you recommend this book? Would it appeal to a high school student? College student? Business Person? Housewife? Senior adult? Will this book appeal to a wide cross section of readers in Kansas City and the surrounding area? Is this book relatively "easy" to read. We are trying to appeal to the broadest section of our community as possible. If they have to struggle with a book, many will not read past the first chapter. We want to select a book that the community will read and enjoy and that will foster discussion. What makes this book popular? What themes or issues will readers discuss? Are there topics that will specifically appeal to readers in our community and encourage discussion and debate? Does the book contain enough material to encourage discussion among Kansas City readers?


How will we promote this to the community? Does the book have an author and subject matter that can be promoted in our community? Is the subject matter something people will want to read? Will this book selection be appropriate subject matter for libraries, funders and the general public? Is there anything in the book that would be too controversial for this project?


Will this selection broaden understanding of our diverse community? Does the book promote understanding of a culture, race, geography, or life style reflective our or very diverse KC Metropolitan community?

Accessibility: Is the book accessible? Is the book available in paperback as well as in hardback. Is it available in audio. What languages is the book available? Will the publisher do any type of discounting of the book selection?

Supporting Materials: What type of supporting materials are available for this selection? Are readers guides available? Are posters available? Are book marks available? Are complimentary copies available? Are there any more materials that can be supplied for this selection? Is the author available (charge or no charge)?
voteCopy of the Book Criteria Voting Sheet

For further information contact:
Kansas City Metropolitan Library & Information Network
15624 E. 24 Highway
Independence, MO 64050
Phone: (816) 521-7257
Fax: (816) 461-0966
Email: sburton@kcmlin.org