Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Wants Everyone to Get on the Same Page with Community Read 2021

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Charlotte Mecklenburg Library announces the return of Community Read in March 2021 with a focus on creating community dialogue around the themes of racism and social justice.

Community Read is the Library’s month-long effort to have the community read (or listen) to books of current or relevant topics and participate in discussions, book clubs and events hosted by the Library and community partners. It is designed to bring people together around a single book while establishing a community of readers and learners.

“Community Read has always been an important program supporting the Library’s mission, but this year more than ever we want everyone to get on the same page so we can have important conversations around race, social (in)justice and community activism while working toward improving Charlotte-Mecklenburg,” says Meryle Leonard, outreach leader and co-program lead for Community Read at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. 

The signature title for 2021, I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal, includes a scheduled appearance by the authors on March 24, 2021. I’m Not Dying with You Tonight is a New York Times Bestseller, an NAACP Image Award nominee and is currently in discussions to be made into a major motion picture.

Adults and teens are encouraged to read and discuss the main title, as well as the following Library-selected companion titles for all ages:

  • You Matter by Christian Robinson (children)
  • Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds (teens)
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (adults).

Author Image Charlotte MecklenburglibraryAll books for Community Read 2021 are available through the Library’s catalog in print, digital and audio formats. The signature title will also be distributed through Community Read partner organizations leading up to the events.

This month, the Library will hold readings, book discussions and other programs for participants that bring the book’s themes to life. 

More information and registration details can be found in the Library’s calendar.

“The Library is committed to the hard work of promoting racial equity and social justice by providing free and unhindered resources, materials and information, along with the spaces and facilitators to address these important issues,” says Caitlin Moen, library director/chief customer officer at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. “Community Read 2021 is one program under our larger equity strategy that is inclusive of all people and voices so our community can generate a deeper understanding from sharing experiences and viewpoints.” 

In 2021, the Library is joined by community partners to enhance the reach and impact of this significant reading program. Organizations, including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the City of Charlotte Community Relations Department, will support activities and participate in Library programs to promote the value of reading and literacy throughout the community. To sign up as a community partner, contact Meryle Leonard at

Community Read is presented with support from Wells Fargo, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation and Publix Super Markets Charities. 

To learn more about Community Read, visit here.

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