Chicago Public Library Announces One Book, One Chicago Online

Chicago Public Library will launch the One Book, One Chicago Online reading experience today, making it the first public library in the nation to offer free, in-browser, social reading of a full novel. For the first time, Chicagoans can have a social experience while reading the One Book, One Chicago (OBOC) selection on a desktop, tablet or phone with internet connection, without downloading an app. To use the feature, Chicagoans only need a Library card, available in one of 80 branches across the city or online at

“Yet again, the Chicago Public Library is the first Library in the nation to offer a one-of-a kind experience. This new feature serves as just another example of Chicago pioneering the modern 24/7 library for residents and students,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “Throughout its 139-year history, the CPL has always encouraged Chicagoans of all ages to make reading a priority, and One Book, One Chicago Online fits perfectly with the library’s timeless mission.”

Supported by the Chicago Public Library Foundation, OBOC is an award-winning, nationally recognized city-wide reading initiative that brings diverse Chicagoans together around one central book and theme.

This year’s selection, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon, will be released online at in six serialized installments beginning today through May 3rd.  Library cardholders will have access to the first installment of the online reading segment until May 3rd. Each subsequent installment will be available for two weeks at a time. This serialized experience allows Chicagoans all over the city to read the book online at the same time.

The full schedule is as follows:

Part 1: Monday, February 2 – Sunday, May 3

Part 2: Monday, February 23 – Sunday, March 8

Part 3: Monday, March 9 – Sunday, March 22

Part 4: Monday, March 23 – Sunday, April 5

Part 5: Monday, April 6 – Sunday, April 19

Part 6: Monday, April 20 – Sunday, May 3

The online reading experience will be enhanced for users by allowing readers to highlight passages, post their favorite quotes to Twitter from within the reader and invite friends to read with them. This collective experience of Chicagoans will be emphasized with ‘reading sprints’ to encourage people to read together and finish the book. Reading sprints are designated times for people to read online and then join a collective conversation by tweeting their opinions, favorite quotes and reactions to the narrative. The first reading sprint will take place on Thursday, February 5th and the schedule can be found at

“We love being able to engage our patrons in one-of-a-kind experiences like online reading of Kavalier & Clay,” said Commissioner Brian Bannon. “Providing free access to Library card holders enhances our existing One Book, One Chicago programming and allows more people to join the conversation, expand their knowledge and inspire ideas, and connect to people in a different, digital way."

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is storytelling at its best. Set amidst the backdrop of the rise of fascism and years leading up to World War Two, Michael Chabon transports readers into an exciting world of comic books, heroes and superheroes. Readers are left wondering about their own personal transformations and what it means to be a hero. Chicago Public Library has focused this season’s OBOC programming around the subject of Heroes: Real & Imagined. Programs throughout the city, including exhibits, book discussions, panel discussion, musical performances and story-telling began in October 2014 and continue through April 2015. For program details, including times and locations, please visit or pick up a program guide at any Library location.

The One Book, One Chicago program, which has been replicated in more than 150 cities across the country, is made possible by Allstate and BMO Harris, through the Chicago Public Library Foundation. The exciting OBOC Online pilot is a partnership with BiblioCommons.

For more information and to access OBOC Online, visit or call 312.747.4050.

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. CPL recently received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and was ranked number one in the U.S. and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, please call (312) 747-4050 or visit