Program Overview

The One Book, One Community (OBOC) program encourages the City of East Lansing-Michigan State University community to read the same book and come together to explore its themes and issues in a variety of campus and community settings each fall.

The selected book is widely read on and off campus and is a required reading for all incoming freshmen. It is used in numerous classes and residence hall activities and is the subject of a variety of city-campus programs and special events. The highlight of the program each fall is the visit by the author(s) to the community and to MSU to welcome the incoming class to campus. OBOC is one of the first community reading programs to bring together the students of a major university and the residents of its surrounding community.

Statement of Purpose
The program is intended to build an intellectual and social rapport among students and community members through the collective experience of reading, thinking and discussing challenging ideas and themes that raise important social issues.

The goals of OBOC are to:
  • create an opportunity for the residents of the City of East Lansing to share in an aesthetic and intellectually satisfying experience with community members and organizations and with Michigan State University students and faculty through the discussion and analysis of quality literature; 
  • provide individuals on and off campus with the opportunity to learn from one another by sharing their experience with a common book; 
  • promote positive interaction between East Lansing residents and MSU students; 
  • annually provide the University’s incoming class with a shared learning experience that introduces them to the intellectual challenges and personal satisfactions of their coming academic life; 
  • engender a sense of shared experience and belonging across the larger city-university community.