One Book, Our Community

What if the entire community read the same book at the same time?

nd-coverMonroeville Interfaith Ministerium is sponsoring a community-wide read in partnership with Monroeville Public Library and Mon Valley Circles. We invite people from all walks of life to read and then discuss the important issues of poverty and inequality raised by Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich.

Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages. One day, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job is the ticket to a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on a minimum wage?

To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting any job she was offered. She worked as a waitress, a hotel maid, a cleaning woman, a nursing-home aide, and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. She soon discovered that even the “lowliest” occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

Here’s how you can participate:

Read the book.

Copies of Nickel and Dimed are available at Monroeville Public Library. Check out a copy, or ask to borrow multiple copies for your book group or organization. Call Mark Hudson at 412-372-0500 ext. 113 to arrange to borrow multiple copies. (Nickel and Dimed is available in Large Print and audiobook formats in addition to regular print.)

Host a book discussion for your organization or house of worship.

Monroeville Public Library staff is available to help plan your event or lead a discussion for your group. A reading guide is available. For more information, call Sally Michalski at 412-372-0500 ext. 124.


Encourage your friends and neighbors to take part in book discussionsprograms and events scheduled in February through May 2016.