Common Book Archive
Open Books – Open Minds has been reimagining the role of the common book at Rhode Island College. Common reading programs seek to generate intellectual and social engagement throughout the campus and help to create a sense of community, increase the vitality of academic discourse, and overall improve participants' feelings about their school. Evidence also suggests that these programs help with student retention. There are many versions of common book programs in colleges and universities across the country. Most target freshmen, who are asked to read the book over the summer and participate in events at the beginning of the fall semester. Some schools have college-wide discussion groups, author talks, or essay contests; a few have built common book instruction into the first two or three weeks of a required course, such as freshman writing or first-year experience. From its inception in 2006 at RIC, Open Books – Open Minds has engaged students in dialogue with the College and Rhode Island communities. We now envision a broader scope for the program, which continues to encourage the participation of freshmen in OBOM as we expand our year-long series of events inspired by the common book to involve students from all academic levels and diverse disciplines.