Camas library kicks off 2021 ‘Read for Change’ program

‘Community Healing’ theme includes in-person conversations, ‘Reunited States’ documentary screening, ‘Beartown’ novel, block party

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The Camas Public Library kicked off its second annual Read for Change program this week and announced the 2021 Read for Change theme is “Community Healing.”

The library is giving away 165 copies of Fredrik Backman’s 2016 novel, “Beartown,” to start the months-long Read for Change event.

“The novel centers around a small town torn apart by a traumatic event and the individual relationships that suffer as a result,” Camas Public Library Director Connie Urquhart explained in a city of Camas news release. “It asks the question, ‘What is community?’and provides the perfect backdrop for discussion of the library’s Read for Change theme of community healing.”

The Friends and Foundation of the Camas Library is sponsoring the “Beartown” giveaway. Residents can pick up a copy of “Beartown” at the library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave., in downtown Camas, during the library’s open hours, or reserve a copy for curbside pickup.

The Read for Change program runs through Aug. 22, and includes speakers, an exclusive documentary screening, book discussion groups and even an old-fashioned block party with music, food trucks, an air-hockey tournament and children’s activities from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 23, at the library.

The Friends and Foundation of the Camas Library will host their semi-annual book sale (the group’s first since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020) on the second floor of the library during the July 23 block party.

“The book sale is the primary source of income for the FFCL, so the group is hoping the evening will be both fun and fruitful,” FFCL President Victoria Westphal stated in the city’s news release. “The revenue generated at book sales funds summer reading programs, book clubs, and events throughout the year.”

Other Read for Change events include:

  • Civil Conversation in an Angry Age (6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 29): Philosopher David E. Smith will discuss moments when civility breaks down, and look at how we can still have meaningful, respectful conversations about controversial topics.


  • What Makes a Community? (6:30 to 7:30 p.m Wednesday, July 14): This in-person event will explore what makes a community successful. Attendees must pre-register and will be emailed three short articles to read before the event.


  • Building Relationships Across Difference (5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11): This 90-minute, in-person event, led by Alexis James, founder and CEO of Construct the Present, will discuss how our own biases may be limiting our life experience and explore ideas for expanding personal circles and having more diverse relationships.


  • Virtual screening of documentary, “The Reunited States” (Thursday, Aug. 19): Register to receive a link and password for this exclusive screening of “The Reunited States,” a documentary that follows Susan Bro, whose daughter, Heather Heyer, was murdered during a 2017 counterprotest against far-right extremists in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as David and Erin Leverton, a Republican couple who traveled to all 50 states in an RV to better understand the nation’s political divisions.

For more information about the 2021 Read for Change program, or to view a schedule of events, visit