Statewide Read FAQ


Q. Do you have any suggestions for children’s programs to go along with an adult Read?
A.  Yes! The Thoreau Bicentennial Read Toolkit has a section that lists recommended children’s books that are based on Henry David Thoreau and would make great complements to an adult Read event. Also included are some suggested activities for various ages.

Q. What do we (the libraries or other planning bodies) get out of it?
A. You get to enjoy reading Thoreau! Besides that…one thing we hope participants will get out of this is to connect with other individuals, libraries and organizations who/that are passionate about Thoreau. You get to be part of an exciting large-scale initiative to get people reading, thinking and discussing, with the benefit of having many of the plans laid out for you in the Toolkit. We also hope to get some media coverage of the Statewide Read and your community could be featured in that coverage, if that is of interest.

Q. What are the goals for the Read?
A. The goal is for members of every community in Massachusetts to have the opportunity to participate in a  Thoreau Bicentennial Read at some point in 2017. Each location will get to choose what work they wish to read, when they wish to read it and in what manner they wish to do it. Thus, you could read Cape Cod in the summer via a book club, “A Winter Walk” in mid-January with a historical re-enactor, or anything in between. The choice is up to you.

Q. Will you be supplying copies of books to us?
A. Thanks to a very generous donation from Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, MA, we actually have about 140 copies of the Signet Classics edition of Walden and “Civil Disobedience” that we will give to communities through an application process!  We prefer to make these books available to communities whose residents, libraries, and/or schools may have particularly limited funds with which to otherwise access copies of the books.  Find out more here!

Additionally, in the Toolkit we provide links to some grant resources that might aid you in purchasing books and other supplies.

Q. What sort of advertising will you do? Do you set up advertising in the towns?
A. Forthcoming will be a pre-made poster into which you can insert your information, print and post or distribute electronically. We will make posts on our social media pages regularly that highlight the upcoming Read events. In the Toolkit we also provide a template for a Read event press release and social media posts, if you plan to promote your event through any of those avenues.

Q. Is there anyone you might be able to send out to help us with our discussion/read?
A. Yes, students from the UMass Lowell Honors College will be trained to facilitate discussions and activities. If you need help from one of these students, contact us and we will arrange to have one of them be in touch with you to coordinate.

Q. We are a very small town, with limited capacity to pull off a Read event on our own?  Do you have any suggestions for us?
A. We encourage small towns to join together and/or with bigger adjacent towns for their Read event. We’d be happy to connect you with someone in a neighboring town/city, if you’d like!  There are also students from UMass Lowell Honors College who will be trained to fascilitate Read events.  Please let us know if you’d like to be connected with a student!

Q. We are a big town/city. Are we limited to having just one Read event in our community?
A. By all means, no!  We know that there are towns/cities where different groups may want to host different Read events. We just ask that, if you know of another group/organization planning a Read event in your community, you coordinate so they aren’t concurrent (that is, of course, unless they are coordinated–e.g., if a school planned to do a Read event for kids in the community at the same time as a library did an event for adults, in a coordinated day of programming, that’s fantastic!).

Q. My questions aren’t answered here.  Who should I contact?
A. Please contact The Walden Woods Project.  We are happy to help!