One Book One Independence

stars book cover 2

Take the One Book 2018 Survey

After you have attended all the events you are planning to attend, we hope you will give us some feedback!  It will take 5-10 minutes. Thank you for helping us to improve!


The Independence Public Library is excited to announce One Book One Independence, a community-wide reading campaign!  Through reading, presentations, events, discussions, and performances; One Book One Independence will build a sense of community and encourage relationships while promoting literacy.

Conceived in 1998 in Seattle, Washington, the “One Book, One Community” concept sparks community dialog through a shared reading experience.  The goal of the program is to have as many people as possible reading and discussing the same book in order to build a community of readers. 

Libraries are anything but quiet – join in the noise and connect with your community – one page at a time.


The One Book One Independence citizens’ committee has chosen Stars Over Clear Lake as this year’s featured book selection. The library will host author Loretta Ellsworth for an author visit on March 26!

Alternating between 2007 and the 1940s, the author transports readers to a time of great music and love woven around the historic Surf Ballroom, and of war and sacrifice in small-town Iowa. Readers learn how the main character makes peace with her memories and finds courage to face buried secrets. According to #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller, Stars Over Clear Lake is “a timeless story of love and loss in the wartime American heartland.”

This year, the library also has read-alikes book lists available for further reading.  The read-alikes are available in print or digital format.  If you do not have a device, you can check on out at IPL.  Click on the links below to see the selections. 

Stars Over Clear Lake Fiction Read-alikes
World War II POW Nonfiction for Adults
World War II Teen Reads
World War II Kids Reads

Author Loretta Ellsworth


Get the Book

Books for One Book One Independence are currently available!  Get the books in one of many locations including:
  • Independence Public Library
  • Em’s Coffee Co.
  • Falcon Civic Center
  • Laree’s Shoppe of Favorites
  • S&K Collectibles
  • Little Free Libraries

Borrow a book on the honor system. Then pass it along to a friend or neighbor or return the book to any of the One Book locations. Alternate formats like large print and the audiobook on CD will be available for checkout from the library. Also, copies of the book are available for checkout on the Nooks and through BRIDGES for download to your device.


Book Discussions take place in February and March.  There are three scheduled at the library during various times and days.  You are also welcome to set up your own discussion or read it as part of a book discussion group in which you are already involved.
Tues, February 6 at 2:00 pm
Tues, February 27 at 6:30 pm
Mon, March 5 at 5:30 pm

Mon, March 7 at 6:30 pm
Thurs, March 24 at 12:00 pm
Mon, March 7 at 6:30 pm
Thurs, March 24 at 12:00 pm
Mon, March 7 at 6:30 pm
Thurs, March 24 at 12:00 pm


Experience a variety of programs, all offered free of charge, being offered in February and March to compliment the themes in Stars Over Clear Lake. 

Highlights to engage adults include a visit from the author, presentations from the daughter of a POW Camp survivor, the Camp Algona POW Museum, and descendants of the founders of the Gayla Ballroom in Independence.  Ballroom dance lessons will also be offered through the Heinz Academy for the Performing Arts with an opportunity to use those skills at a performance by the Cedar Valley Big Band to be held at the Henderson Event Center March 10th. 

All ages will have the opportunity to participate in a community-wide art contest celebrating the spirit of Independence, historic storytelling with Darrin Crow, and Trivia Night at the First Presbyterian Church. 

Following is a list of opportunities which are linked to more information about the events. 


Each opportunity is free, though the library is asking for free will donations (suggested $15 donation per ticket) for tickets to the Stars Over Independence Big Band Extravaganza.  Events will be held at the library unless a different location is stated.  

  • Feb. 1- April 30 – Books available at the library and various One Book locations
  • Feb. 16 – Class with Kim Van Deest
  • Feb. 17 – Online book discussion begins on One Book One Independence Facebook Page
  • Feb. 22 – Storyteller Pippa White performs The Story of the Orphan Train
  • March 8 – Class with Kim Van Deest
  • March 15 – What’s Your Story? Writing a Memoir  with Jacquie McTaggart and Memoir Project participants
  • March 29 – PBS documentary, The Orphan Trains, shown at Starlight Cinema
  • April 2 – Spring Adventures in the Heartland with Dan Wardell at Heartland Acres
  • April 5 – Emily’s Story by author, film-maker, and ancestor of an orphan train rider Clark Kidder
  • April 15-April 16 –Rails to the Unknown, Rails to Home original theater production by the local River Arts Theater at First Presbyterian Church.
Each opportunity is free and will be held at the library unless a different location is stated.  Historical exhibits about the Orphan Train Riders and their experiences will also be on display throughout the months at the library. 

Sponsors and Committee

Thank you to the sponsors of One Book One Independence for making this project possible.  Sponsors include the Independence Hotel/Motel Tax Grant, Friends of the Independence Public Library, LACES, and the Independence Public Library Foundation.  

Thanks also to the One Book One Independence committee, as each member spent many hours reading, discussing and making decisions about One Book One Independence 2016.  Committee members include Lynn Isham, Virginia Lake, Amy McGraw, Judy Olsen, Andy Rasmussen, Brooke Starling, Kara Vance, Alissa Westphal and Nancy White.

More information

You are welcome to call 319-334-2470 or email for more information.  

Sponsors and Committee

Thank you to the sponsors of One Book One Independence for making One Book One Independence possible.  We appreciate your generous support!  Thanks also to all the individuals who made donations!  

Sponsors include:
  • Donald Greenley Memorial
  • Greenley Family Charitable Fund
  • Independence Public Library Foundation
  • Friends of the Independence Public Library
The One Book One Independence Committee deserves our thanks as well, as each member spent many hours reading, discussing and making decisions about One Book One Independence 2017.  Committee members include Cheryl Hand, Lynn Isham, Jim Jorgenson, Kathy Kitner, Peggy Magner, Amy McGraw, Judy Olsen, Andy Rasmussen, Brooke Starling, and Kara Vance. 
Check out Facebook and Instagram!  Tell us what you think of the book and events.  

You are also welcome to call 319-334-2470 or email for more information.