West Vancouver Memorial Library Launches One Book, One Community

West Vancouver Memorial Library Launches One Book, One Community
Inaugural District-wide reading and discussion program invites community members to  join together in reading a single book

August 9, 2019, West Vancouver, B.C. — West Vancouver Memorial Library invites community members to participate in One Book, One Community, an inaugural District-wide reading and discussion program that encourages West Vancouverites to come together and explore ideas by reading Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung. 

The goal of the program is to engage people in conversation, create new connections and build a strong, united community. One Book, One Community is a key component of the Library’s Shared Journeys initiative, a new program that embraces West Vancouver’s rich cultural diversity, bringing people together through stories, conversation and activities.

“As a Library that embraces inclusiveness as one of its core values, we are very excited to be launching One Book, One Community,” says Jillian Stirk, West Vancouver Memorial Library Board Chair. “This program is an important step in helping to build a welcoming community, one where everyone feels accepted and valued for their unique contributions to West Vancouver’s cultural diversity.”

“We chose this hopeful and warm-hearted title for the launch of One Book, One Community because it really captures the spirit and purpose of the program: to explore our commonalities, discuss our differences and inspire openness, respect and curiosity” says Tara Matsuzaki, Acting Head of Community and Customer Experience. “We encourage everyone in West Vancouver to connect with their neighbours this summer by coming together to read this inspiring story.”

How to Participate

The Library invites everyone in West Vancouver to participate in this program by reading independently, attending a Library Book Chat or discussing Homes with their own book club this year. Copies of the book and a supporting guide are available at the Library’s Information Desk. 

For Book Clubs

Delve into the powerful and personal narrative of Homes with your book club this year. Call or visit the Information Desk to borrow copies of this memoir or to borrow the guide to support your book club discussion!

Library Book Chats 

Join one of the Library’s book chats to discuss and explore ideas in Homes. Led by Library facilitators, book chats will provide you with the opportunity to talk about the compelling themes in Homes, make new connections, share your stories and learn about the cultural diversity of West Vancouver. 

Register online for one of the following sessions:

Saturday, September 21, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., Welsh Hall
Thursday, October 10, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., Welsh Hall
Wednesday, October 23, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Welsh Hall


About the Book

Homes: A Refugee Story is the remarkable true story of how a young Syrian boy, Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, emerged from a war zone and found safety in Canada. Homes was born out of an unlikely connection between Rabeeah and his English teacher turned co-author, Winnie Yeung, who turned Rabeeah’s story into a heartbreaking, hopeful and urgently necessary book. Homes was a finalist for both the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and Canada Reads 2019.

About Shared Journeys

Shared Journeys is a new program that embraces West Vancouver’s rich cultural diversity, bringing people together through stories, conversation and activities. By exploring what we have in common, as well as our differences, this program inspires openness, respect and curiosity through reading, lectures, a film screening, a panel discussion and more. For more information, please visit wvml.ca/sharedjourneys

About West Vancouver Memorial Library

Open and welcoming to all, West Vancouver Memorial Library connects people with information, the world of imagination and each other. The Library attracts nearly 43,100 people to our facility and 54,500 to our website each month. The Library’s vision expresses a broad, aspirational state: Where wonder sparks, possibilities emerge and minds thrive. Our Library inspires people to grow in a dynamic world. 


 Media Contact:

Sue Kent, Head of Communications

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