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Nominations for Go Big Read sought

November 6, 2009

UW–Madison’s new common book program, Go Big Read, is engaging students, faculty, staff and the community in a shared academic experience as they read and discuss “In Defense of Food,” by Michael Pollan. Go Big Read is having a successful first year and early feedback on the ongoing program has been enthusiastic.

Planning is under way for Go Big Read’s sophomore year, and nominations are now being accepted for next year’s book selection. Nominated books should do one or more of the following: promote enjoyment of reading by being readable, relevant and engaging; incorporate sufficient depth and scope to promote sustained discussion of different points of view; appeal to individuals from a variety of backgrounds; and have cross-disciplinary appeal and lend itself to tie-ins in a variety of activities and programming on campus.

Ken Frazier, director of UW–Madison Libraries and member of the Go Big Read Steering Committee, is more than pleased with the first year of the program. “The real surprise for me in the first year of Go Big Read was how successfully it engaged the university community. Student involvement far exceeded our initial hopes, but we also had incredibly high participation from faculty, alumni and members of the public,” says Frazier. “Go Big Read is a great confirmation that at Wisconsin ideas matter, that intellectual inquiry changes our thinking, and that knowledge can inspire action and change.”

The goals of Go Big Read will continue to engage the campus community and beyond in an academically focused reading experience; generate vigorous discussions and exchanges of diverse ideas; promote connections among students, faculty, staff, alumni and the wider community; tap into and promote the intellectual resources of the campus; promote educational initiatives and learning outcomes; and bridge learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.

The Go Big Read Steering Committee will sift and winnow through all the submissions for the Chancellor, who will make the final selection. “In Defense of Food” was selected from nearly 400 nominated books and some 700 nominations. To submit a title, visit