With a Village: Community One Book Partnership Ameliorates College Preparation Deficit

In regions of low college-going rates it is imperative that academic libraries partner with the wider community on literacy outreach programs. Many universities strive to serve the residents of their service area through various educational, economic and cultural outreach activities. This paper describes a mutually beneficial partnership that links the California State University Bakersfield University Library and the campus First-Year Experience Office to a grass-roots One Book One Community (OBOC) collaboration with key partners throughout Kern County, California. Over the years this OBOC program has grown into a successful collaboration connecting the campus to local entities and feeder high schools. This partnership has evolved into a true town-gown united effort to promote multiculturalism, literacy and college preparation, supported by stakeholders who recognize that through reading, young people and adults alike connect with books that reflect their life experience.