What is On the Same Page?
Launched in Seattle and quickly picked up by Chicago and New York, the concept of a community reading program where libraries promote reading the same book among a variety of constituents has attracted enthusiastic supporters around the country. Many Massachusetts communities have embarked on providing the “one-book” experience to local residents.
On the Same Page in Amesbury
The Amesbury Public Library’s On the Same Page project began in spring of 2012. Our annual goal is to bring Amesbury residents of all ages together around the excitement of a shared reading experience, and also provide us a chance to shine a light on the rich history of the community in which we live. The chosen topic for 2013 is Amesbury’s boatbuilding history, and in particular, the Point Shore/Salisbury Point area. This topic lends itself to diverse opportunities for lectures, workshops, and displays that will bring together local historians, artists, and writers to celebrate our pride in the community’s history. Our partner for the 2013 project is Lowell’s Boat Shop. Ask at the desk for a packet of exciting materials and giveaways to learn more!
This year we’ve chosen In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick. Join us as we discuss Philbrick’s award-winning account, and make connections to our community’s own rich boatbuilding history. Did you know that the Essex was built right here in Amesbury?
The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship’s cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. An intense and mesmerizing read, In the Heart of the Sea is a monumental work of history forever placing the Essex tragedy in the American historical canon. Copies of the book are available for checkout at the Library.
We’ve planned many events throughout the spring in conjunction with On the Same Page. Come into the library to pick up a packet of information with an events calendar, a bibliography of related reading, and lots of other other great giveaways! Also be sure to view all related events right here on our online Events Calendar. Please note that many events require registration.
On the Same Page 2012
For its inaugural year of On the Same Page, the library chose Redfield Farm by Judith Redline Coopey, a novel of the Underground Railroad. Throughout the spring, we explored Amesbury’s rich Abolitionist history through discussions, programs, and partnerships with the John Greenleaf Whittier Home Association.