Lancaster launches Reads! Program with ‘The Help’

LANCASTER — The City of Lancaster, in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Public Library in Lancaster, recently announced the first in an ongoing series of quarterly book selections, as part of the new Lancaster Reads! Program.

“This program is designed to promote reading and literacy, as well as cultivate a sense of community through the shared experience of reading and conversing together,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris.

The City of Lancaster is now a part of the growing nationwide read program which adopts the idea of a localized book discussion club and expands it citywide. The idea originated in Seattle in 1998 and has quickly spread across the United States to least 35 different cities. The Lancaster City Council approved the Lancaster Reads! Program on November 13.

The book selected to be read this quarter is The Help, a novel by Kathryn Stockett. Participants will have until the end of March to complete their reading. An event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27 for the community to watch the movie and discuss the book.

City and Library staff will choose a new book each quarter, and welcomes recommendations from the public. Each quarter when the book is chosen, the City of Lancaster will make the title and locations to purchase/borrow the book accessible to the community through the City’s website, the Los Angeles County Public Library in Lancaster, community groups, local schools and colleges.

At the end of each quarter, a discussion forum will be held to celebrate literacy. When possible, the author of the book will be invited to come for a special presentation. If a movie has been made from the book, it will be included as part of the culminating event and a dialogue will be held to compare and contrast the differences between the two.

In addition, a page will be created on the City website, along with a blog, with information regarding the respective book and author, as well as a toolkit for patrons interested in leading smaller discussion groups within the community. A community calendar detailing discussion forum dates and future book selections will be created for individuals interested in participating in the program.

For more information, call the Parks, Recreation and Arts Department at (661) 723-6077 or visit

(Information via press release from the city of Lancaster.)