Chicago Public Library Announces “The Third Coast” as the One Book, One Chicago Selection

Chicago Public Library is excited to announce that the 26TH One Book, One Chicago (OBOC) selection is The Third Coast by Thomas Dyja. One Book, One Chicago is made possible by the Chicago Public Library Foundation, funded through generous support from The Chicago Community Trust, BMO Harris Bank, Allstate and United.

OBOC is a citywide program that, for more than a decade, has helped bring communities together around one central book and theme through diverse programming. From October through April 2016, One Book, One Chicago will explore a central theme—Chicago: The City That Gives.

“We chose ‘Chicago: The City That Gives’ as this year’s theme in part due to the generosity of The Chicago Community Trust, BMO Harris Bank and the public/private support that the Library maintains through the Chicago Public Library Foundation,” said Commissioner Brian Bannon. “We are looking forward to exploring this theme with Chicagoans.”

This will be the first time ever that OBOC programming will take place in all 80 branches of Chicago Public Library. Joining with over 25 community partners, the Library will offer Chicagoans a variety of events and programs, including architectural walking tours, public art discussions and music performances, to bring people, businesses, and civic agencies of Chicago together to engage with the book and theme. Free citywide programs will launch in early October.

“We are so pleased to be partnering with the Chicago Public Library on this year’s One Book, One Chicago program as part of our centennial year. Our region has a rich history of innovation, ingenuity and civic spirit captured so well in this year’s book,” said Terry Mazany, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust. “We are especially pleased that every resident, in every corner of the city, will be able to enjoy exploring these stories and reflecting on this year’s theme with their friends, families and neighbors.”

This year, the Library will again offer the OBOC Online Reader, a serialized release of The Third Coast available in-browser with an internet connection and a Chicago Public Library card. The first installment will be live at beginning October 1, with subsequent installments every two weeks.

“We’re very proud to support One Book, One Chicago, one of the most respected reading programs in the entire country,” said David Casper, President and CEO, BMO Harris Bank, and Board Member, Chicago Public Library Foundation. “The program fits perfectly with our focus on promoting educational empowerment, and we’re pleased to do our part to help make the program a success.”

The Third Coast presents a critically acclaimed history of Chicago at mid-century featuring many of the incredible personalities that shaped American culture. Covering the time period following World War II through 1960, this nonfiction piece highlights Chicago as the crux of commerce, culture and innovation. Readers explore the people and events that shaped postwar Chicago, which still have a profound influence on how people view the city today.

“I couldn’t begin to count the hours I spent at the Chicago Public Library when I was a kid,” said The Third Coast author, Thomas Dyja. “It was where I learned to love books and so, in a way, I owe everything to the CPL.”

Author Thomas Dyja will visit the Harold Washington Library Center on November 4th to discuss the book and the theme of “Chicago: The City that Gives.” He is a third generation Chicagoan, and The Third Coast focuses on Chicago and its influence on America.

Additional highlights of this year’s One Book, One Chicago program include:

  • A conversation with Teddy Cruz, the Rome Prize-winning architect who uses the Tijuana-San Diego border as a laboratory to illustrate global dynamics, will be interviewed by architectural historian Dianne Harris.
  • A partnership with the Studs Terkel Radio Archive that allows readers to listen to a playlist of interviews featuring personalities from The Third Coast, available online at
  • Walking tours by Max Grinnel, urbanologist, exploring neighborhoods in Chicago, like Hyde Park discussed in The Third Coast, as part of the Chicago Architectural Biennial.
  • A partnership with Chicago Ideas Week and Books on the “L”—where a public transportation commuter may find themselves sitting next to a copy of The Third Coast to enjoy on their commute.

For more programs, ways you can engage with other readers, and surprises, visit our website at

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 received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; was named the first ever winner of the National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award in recognition of its Summer Learning Challenge; 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, visit