January 15 - March 20, 2013

2/12/13 Press Release:

Discussions on this year’s Kansas Reads book selection are under way

Statewide reading project running now through March 20th

Topeka, KS, — The State Library of Kansas is encouraging residents to participate in this year’s one book/one state reading and discussion project, Kansas Reads: Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris.

The 2013 title, Then We Came to the End, reflects a special collaboration with the Kansas Humanities Council's statewide "The Way We Worked in Kansas" initiative. While the traveling exhibit explores how we worked YESTERDAY, the novel looks at how we work TODAY. The book is a comedy about the American workplace, told in the first-person plural. It takes place in a fictitious Chicago ad agency that is experiencing a downturn at the end of the '90s Internet boom. The titular "End" is the closing of the business, which everyone in the novel expects but no one is really prepared for. This book captures the feeling of being the last man standing, the one who will be left to turn off the lights.

Kansas libraries began discussing the book, Then We Came to the End, on January 15 and will continue hosting events through March 20, 2013. Mary Cotton Library (Sabetha, KS) and Newton Public Library (Newton, KS) were part of the State Library’s six scholar-led discussions sponsored by a Kansas Humanities Grant.  Additional scholar-led discussions of the book will be hosted by the following public libraries:

Feb. 17, 1:30 pm, Dorothy Bramlage Library, Junction City, KS
March 4, 7:00 pm, Pioneer Memorial Library, Colby, KS
March 11, 2:00 pm, Hays Public Library, Hays, KS
March 12, 7:00 pm, Independence Public Library, Independence, KS

When asked the significance of the statewide Kansas Reads program, State Librarian Jo Budler replied “I would encourage all Kansans to join a reading group in 2013; it’s a great way to engage in a book and get to know your neighbor. Kansas librarians are great at inspiring interest and discussions and everyone can add something different to the program.”  Visit www.kcfb.info/thenwecametotheend.html for more information on the statewide program.

“KHC Humanities Grants support projects that connect people with ideas and engage audiences with the humanities,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council.  “Then We Came to the End book discussions invite community members to explore themes related to work and the workplace through a good book. It’s a wonderful companion program to KHC’s ‘The Way We Worked in Kansas’ initiative.”

Kansas Reads: Then We Came to the End is supported by the Kansas Humanities Council, a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to promoting humanities across Kansas. More information is available at www.kansashumanities.org.

Update 1/14/13
A statewide reading and discussion project sponsored by the Kansas Center for the Book at the State Library of Kansas. Recommended by a committee of experienced and qualified librarians, educators, and authors, Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris was selected by the State Librarian Jo Budler, reflecting a special collaboration with the Kansas Humanities Council's statewide "The Way We Worked" initiative.

"The Way We Worked" is a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition that explores the stories of American workers over the past 150 years. The exhibition is coming to Kansas as part of a 6-stop tour supported by the Kansas Humanities Council. Inspired by the theme of work and working, 21 Kansas communities are now conducting oral histories, creating new exhibitions, planning public programs, researching past stories of work, and documenting local workers on the job in the 21st century. Together, these stories help define us: our way of life, our sense of who we are, and the values we hold important. 

An audio version is available through the NLS Talking Books service. It is currently only available for download, but if we have patrons that want to participate in a book discussion at their local library, we will make a copy for them. The book number is DB 65387. Call 1-800-362-0699for more information on audio copies.