Books have a profound way of bringing a community together. That\u2019s why the Trumbull Library One Book, One Town program remains strong as it enters its seventh year of existence in March 2016. This year the library system will be building its monthlong program around Anthony Doerr\u2019s All the Light We Cannot See \u2014 the winner of the 2014 National Book Award, the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The heavily acclaimed World War II-set novel was the perfect source material to unite residents of all ages and backgrounds, according to Jackie Carlino, the library\u2019s program coordinator, and Donna Soucy, the library\u2019s head of collections. \u201cIt\u2019s almost impossible to pick a book that\u2019ll appeal across the board \u2014 a book with themes that both children and adults can relate to and want to discuss,\u201d Soucy said. \u201cA lot of people have read this book but few have had the opportunity to talk about it with others, and this gives residents that opportunity \u2014 a chance to talk face to face with people you\u2019ve never met before who want to explore this world the author\u2019s created and delve deeper into its many wonderful themes,\u201d she said. \u201cThere\u2019s nothing else quite like it, and when it works, it\u2019s a great thing,\u201d she said. \u201cYou get to know people through it; you get to hear how they\u2019ve interpreted the material and what they think of it.\u201d Carlino stressed that the March schedule will draw in people who have read the book and people who haven\u2019t. Before the war, the novel\u2019s Paris-born protagonist, Marie-Laure, suffers from rapidly deteriorating eyesight before becoming blind due to cataracts\u00a0at the age of 6. To engage with that topic from the book, the library will host a lecture featuring a braille expert, a touch tank from the Maritime Aquarium, and a seeing eye dog exhibit. \u201cBlindness is a challenge for Marie but it\u2019s never presented as a setback, and we wanted to engage with that part of the story and build some programs from that,\u201d Carlino explained. \u201cShe touches mollusks in the book, and that\u2019s where we got the idea for the touch tank,\u201d she said. Nazi-occupied France Another part of the story that will be covered in historical lectures and exhibits is Paris in 1934 \u2014 before it was occupied by Nazi troops \u2014 as well as what the city and the rest of France looked like during its World War occupation. The time period and the setting will also be explored in several programs and discussions, including a field trip to the Neue Galerie in New York City. \u201cThis will be the first time taking One Book, One Town out of Trumbull, which should be interesting,\u201d Soucy said. \u201cWe\u2019re going down to 5th Avenue in the city to see real paintings that tie into the World War II theme of art stealing and depict what it was like to live during that time. \u2026 \u201cWe try to create something new every year,\u201d she added. \u201cThis will be the first time a bus trip, or a field trip, will be incorporated into our calendar.\u201d That part of the program will include a private tour as well as a lunch that features Austrian pastries and food. Taking advantage Speaking of food, culinary students from Trumbull High School will be making their own French pastries that will be served during a luncheon at the library. Beyond the high school, Carlino and Soucy believe that the One Book, One Town program touches every part of town. \u201cFrom the schools to the businesses to the foundations, everyone finds a way to engage with the material and come up with a program that brings insight to its readers,\u201d Carlino said. \u201cThe historical society, the nature and arts center, the high school\u2019s culinary program, the senior center, Trumbull TV \u2014 everybody gets involved, and that\u2019s what makes it very special.\u201d \u201cWe\u2019re always thinking of ways to take advantage of everything Trumbull has to offer and build something in town that people have never seen before,\u201d Soucy added. \u201cIt\u2019s our way of saying, \u2018Hey, these resources are out there, let\u2019s come together and use them.\u2019\u201d The whole month gives residents exposure to things they didn\u2019t know existed in town, Carlino said. \u201cThat\u2019s one of the many unanticipated benefits,\u201d she said. \u201cThe challenge is we usually come up with too many ideas and have to cut things out \u2014 we have to be realistic about the actual interest and the space we have to do it in.\u201d Soucy said they\u2019ve gotten better every year about covering every element of the selected book. \u201cIt\u2019s a real juggling act,\u201d Carlino added. \u201cLuckily, we have all these tremendous partners who volunteer their space to make it all happen; we couldn\u2019t schedule all of it on-site even if we wanted to \u2014 there\u2019s already so much going on here on a daily basis. \u201cThat\u2019s why it\u2019s important to have other partners in town and take advantage of everything they have to offer, like the nature and arts center\u2019s geocaching event at Old Mine Park.\u201d Can you hear this? Thanks to the community involvement, Carolino and Soucy are able to plan events like the TCTV\u2019s podcast seminar which will guide participants through how to create their own personalized radio channel. \u201cIn the book, the character builds a crystal radio \u2014 and that\u2019s a pivotal moment in the story \u2014 so we knew we wanted to build a program around that specifically,\u201d Carlino explained. The event will be labeled \u201cMake Your Own Crystal Radio\u201d when the March schedule comes around, but it\u2019ll be rooted in modern technology. \u201cWe realized, having done the biography of Steve Jobs as our book two years ago, that older technology like the crystal radio can be subbed in for newer technology, which in this case is podcasts,\u201d Soucy said. \u201cWhat we\u2019re really trying to get at is what it would be to create something like a crystal radio at such a young age, and then connect it to what kids would be doing today if they were in a similar situation.\u201d \u201cWe\u2019re always looking for new ways to connect to the book \u2014 its characters, the time period, where it is set,\u201d Carlino added. Voting process To select a title for One Book, the 12-member committee has a first round of suggested submissions or recommendations that get whittled down into a manageable list of about 12 to 15 different books. During that second discussion, a vote is held to continue the shrinking process. The final stage concludes with a vote that\u2019s held at the end of the summer. \u201cThat\u2019s when we need to have a clear sense of what book we\u2019re going to build the program around the following spring,\u201d said Soucy. \u201cThe voting process is very fun; we have very lively discussions about what would work and why,\u201d she added. \u201cIt\u2019s very democratic \u2014 other libraries don\u2019t get to vote.\u201d Carlino said she\u2019s never voted on the actual winner until this year. \u201cNo matter what book is selected, we all embrace it as our own,\u201d she explained. \u201cOnce we get the title, we hit the ground running.\u201d \u201cWe like to alternate between fiction and nonfiction if we can,\u201d she added. Highlights Soucy said the field trip could become a routine part of the monthlong celebration. If it doesn\u2019t become an annual tradition, it will most likely rank next to other past highlights, like the Civil War re-enactment that was created with the help of the Trumbull Historical Society when the library system named the novel Cold Mountain as its One Book, One Town selection. \u201cI think it\u2019ll be wildly popular,\u201d she said of the trip. An annual highlight Carlino looks forward to is the debate between the St. Joseph High School and Trumbull High School debate teams. \u201cIt kicks everything off,\u201d she said. \u201cAnd the Yale debate team is there to judge, so that\u2019s exciting. \u201cIt\u2019s always the first event and it\u2019s always well attended,\u201d she added. \u201cAnd it gives the kids great experience to debate in front of professionals, which is an experience they wouldn\u2019t get anywhere else.\u201d For this coming year\u2019s calendar, the debate will be held on March 2. Following it will be a bevy of other programs that fill the month to a brim, including a birds of prey exhibit, a 1940s big band, a family movie night featuring 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and a French luncheon. \u201cThe bird of prey connects to the book, which has an Audubon element to it, and will appeal to all ages,\u201d Carlino said. \u201cWe want the library to be the place in town where people can come and engage themselves with enrichment programs,\u201d she said. \u201cThat\u2019s why we exhaust ourselves in March with having a program almost every day of the month. It\u2019s exhausting but thrilling.\u201d For more information and for a full calendar listing, go to the library\u2019s website, www.trumbullct-library.org,\u00a0or call 203-452-5197.