Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Community Read 2019

Community Read 2019 is bigger, bolder and better than ever before. There's a lot to discuss, a lot of partners and so many ways for readers of all ages to participate. Read on for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our community's biggest book club.

Main Community Read website


What is Community Read?

Each year, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library hosts a community-wide book club known as Community Read. This year's Community Read program will take place throughout March 2019.  

The Library chooses a main title, and companion titles with related themes for younger readers. Everyone in the community is invited to participate in Community Read by reading the books, talking about them, attending library programs, engaging with the Library on social media and celebrating a love of reading together.

This year’s goal is to engage 10% of our community – 100,000 people – with Community Read in some way, through the Library and with partner organizations.

Why is Community Read important? What is new this year?

This year’s main Community Read title is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This award-winning, New York Times best-selling novel deals with sometimes controversial issues that are important nationally and locally in our own community. Community Read will launch conversations in Library and partner locations that we hope will help us understand different perspectives, help our community heal in many ways, launch ongoing relationships, and ultimately help to build a stronger community.

This year’s Community Read is presented by the Library in collaboration with more than 30 community partners, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Community Building Initiative, and many more. A complete list can be found here.

What are this year’s titles?

  • For adults and teens: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
  • For middle grades:  Wishtree by Katherine Applegate 
  • For young children:  Love by Matt de la Peña 

How are the titles selected?

The Library conducted a staff survey in January 2018 to gather a list of potential Community Read signature titles. These suggestions were reviewed by the Community Read team and five titles were selected to be presented to the community through a public survey, conducted in February 2018.

Once the signature title was selected, Library staff identified companion titles appropriate for younger participants.

Where can I get a copy?

All three titles are available at Library branches in print and digital formats, and we’ve expanded our digital license to permit simultaneous downloads of audiobooks and ebooks during the month of March.

Additionally, generous investments from presenting sponsor Bank of America and from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and Foundation For The Carolinas have allowed us to purchase more than 2,000 copies of the book for distribution at Library and partner locations while supplies last. 

Who is involved?

We all are! Everyone in the community is – or can be – part of Community Read 2019.

An inter-departmental team of Library staff have met for over a year to plan the scope and details of this event.

More than 30 community organizations have joined as partners, and they will expand our reach to their networks, distribute materials and books, and offer programs and book discussions at Library and partner locations.

Community partners include: Carolina Youth Coalition • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools • Community Building Initiative • Communities In Schools of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. • Central Piedmont Community College • Fort Mill School District • Girl Talk Foundation • Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture • International House • James B. Duke Memorial Library at Johnson C. Smith University • Levine Museum of the New South • Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance • Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office-Library Services • ourBRIDGE • Pass the Peace Feasts • PBS Charlotte • The Possibility Project-Charlotte • Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice • Swanky Pen • Teen Health Connection • Time Out Youth • Trinity Episcopal School • Union County Public Schools • UNC Charlotte Department of Theatre • WBAV-FM • YMCA of Greater Charlotte

How can I participate?

We encourage you to read one or more of the Community Read books. We also invite everyone in the community to participate in at least one program or discussion – current listings of Library-led and partner-led programs for all ages are linked to the main webpage. Additional ideas for participation are detailed in this blog post: http://bit.ly/2Si2nSO  

How can I get family and friends involved?

Community Read is for everyone. While The Hate U Give is intended for teens and adults, companion titles Love and Wishtree are suitable for younger readers, and we hope families will read them together and participate in programs designed for children. Please spread the word about Community Read to family and friends and invite them to participate.

Will the authors visit?


Angie Thomas will speak at CPCC’s Halton Theatre on March 19. Tickets and information are here. To join the waiting list call the CPCC Box Office at 704-330-6534. If tickets become available we will notify people on this list via email.

Matt de la Pena will speak at ImaginOn on March 28. Ticket information will be on the Community Read website as it is available.

Who is funding Community Read?

There is an annual allocation for Community Read in the Library’s programming budget. Additionally, Bank of America has made a financial investment as this year’s presenting sponsor, and the program has received additional support from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and Foundation For The Carolinas.

How can I get my book club involved?

Yes! The Library has sets of The Hate U Give available for loan to book clubs and other groups. These kits include 10 copies of the book as well as discussion guides and other resources. Learn more here.

Once your group or book club has read the book, please tell us about it! Complete this form so we can include your group in our overall count of Community Read participants.

How can my organization get involved?

Organizations can get involved by participating in a library program, taking the pledge and recording their program information on our website at Community Read Partners