Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Bannon on OBOC 2016-2017

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Library Commissioner Brian BannonDear Friends:

Through One Book, One Chicago, Chicago Public Library has successfully engaged city residents in reading one book at one time, thematically delivering programs across Chicago based on the messages found in the book. We are excited to announce our book selection, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver! Once again this year, the program is supported by a grant from The Chicago Community Trust and returning sponsor BMO Harris, through the Chicago Public Library Foundation. We thank them for helping us bring Chicagoans together around one book and theme.

We encourage you to take part in One Book, One Chicago 2016-2017 and join all of Chicago in reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. This selection tells the story about a family who chooses to eat only food grown and produced locally—for a full year. This nonfiction piece highlights the family’s challenges and triumphs during a season of planting, weeding, harvesting and preserving. Readers learn more about the food industry, the science behind food and growing, and will even pick up a few seasonal recipes along the way.

And remember, the book is just the beginning. From October through May 2017, One Book, One Chicago will explore a central theme—Eat Think Grow—with citywide programming focused on cultural cuisine, cooking, eating, sustainability and urban farming. From seed, to grocery, to cookbook, to table—we’re discussing all the ways we relate to and celebrate food. The program will also celebrate Eat Think Grow with a series of original essays to be released on the Library’s website throughout the run of the program.

One Book, One Chicago and our community partners offer a variety of ways to investigate this theme, whether by reading the book and related recommendations, or by attending a book discussion or one of the many supporting programs across the city. Branch libraries host highlighted programs such as culinary walking tours, urban gardening discussions, and food talks about beer, bees, coffee and the Slow Food Chicago movement. Not to mention, noted author Barbara Kingsolver will visit Harold Washington Library Center in the spring to discuss her book.

Over the last decade, we have expanded One Book, One Chicago to the celebrated program it is today, spanning over half a year with events offered in all 80 library branches. Readers have not only explored history, but also delved into significant and diverse themes, grappling with a range of thoughts and emotions as they journeyed with the characters in each One Book, One Chicago selection. We look forward to you joining us this year to eat, think and grow.

To learn more, inquire at your local library or visit the Library’s One Book, One Chicago webpage at

Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Commissioner Brian Bannon