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COMMON READ: Resources

This guide is a companion to Penn State Altoona's Common Read Initiative for First-Year Students.

2021-2022 Common Read Selection

More information on the is available at the Common Read Main Website.

2019-2020 Common Read Events

There are events scheduled throughout the Fall 2021 Semester (plus a bonus event in Spring 2022) tied to this year's Common Read. Highlights include:

  • October 7th - Author Maria Romasco Moore visits campus.
  • October 20th - Library event on how to preserve your photographs (and your stories) as a Penn State student with in our Archive.

A full listing of the events is available at the link below.

Penn State Altoona Common Read Program

Since 2013, incoming first-year students at Penn State Altoona have been given a book during their orientation to the university as part of the "Common Read, Uncommon Experiences" program. The program was designed as a bridge into Penn State Altoona's unique intellectual community--regardless of the student's major. The Common Read invites students, faculty, and staff into discussions about a single book, creating a community of engaged thinkers and active, responsible citizens.

Laura Rotunno, associate professor of English and Common Read coordinator, says, "With the Common Read, we hope to get people reading, thinking, talking, and then reading again. We hope to create debate and discussion. The program is designed to remind us of the power of books to change us and the world."

Students remain engaged with the book and its themes throughout the academic year in their courses and at interactive co-curricular events, such as faculty panel discussions, writing workshops, library exhibits, theater performances, student-led events, and more. In the process, organizers hope to generate a common "buzz" of hallway discussions and impromptu campus happenings that involve students, faculty, and staff in education outside the limits of the classroom.