by Katie Lukens–
From Little Princes, The Heart and The Fist and now The Other Wes Moore, Virginia Tech continues to select books with their Common Book Program to create a special experience for first-year and transfer students.
Every two years a new book is selected to be read as a campus. The process of selecting the new book takes a year and requires the help of many individuals from across many disciplines around campus.
“Campus-wide books build community on campus by allowing students and teachers to share their own experiences,” Penguin Random House Company states. “Hundreds of towns and cities now run “One City, One Book” programs for the same reason, to spark intellectual exchange and bring their citizens together, but colleges were the first to take this idea and make it work.”
This sense of community that the Common Book brings helps to unite the Virginia Tech campus. The goals of the book are to welcome to all first-year students into Hokie Nation, highlight those things that are important to being a member of the Virginia Tech community and stimulate intellectual and academic engagement within the classroom as well as around campus. The committee also looks for books that are under 350 pages, would work well in a classroom and foster critical thinking and interdisciplinary learning.
Often the hardest part of the selection process is choosing just one book. Many highly regarded books are nominated, but in the end only one book can be the Common Book for Virginia Tech.