The nationwide “One Book, One Community” program is coming to Lewes through the work of Lewes Loves Books, a collaboration of nearly a dozen local organizations.

An initiative of the American Library Association, “One Book, One Community” brings people together by reading and discussing a single book — in this case, Jennifer Ackerman’s “Birds by the Shore.” A republication of Ackerman’s iconic “Notes from the Shore,” which she wrote while living in the area in the early 1990s, “Birds by the Shore” is a book of essays about discovering the natural life at the ocean’s edge: the habits of shorebirds and seabirds, the movement of sand and water, the wealth of creatures that survive amid storm and surf.

For five months beginning in October, participating organizations will sponsor a series of events in which readers will be able to discuss the book as they engage directly with nature. In March 2020, Ackerman will return to Lewes to join in celebrating the “One Book, One Community” experience.

“Now more than ever, it’s important for those of us who love nature — birds, butterflies, benthic organisms — to try to understand its exquisite ways, revere them, and work together to preserve them,” Ackerman said. “This event is a wonderful way into this vital and exciting endeavor, and I can’t wait to join the celebration.”

“The One Book program not only engages people in conversation, it deepens the appreciation of reading, promotes literacy, encourages intergenerational interaction, fosters a sense of community and promotes tolerance and understanding of one another through meaningful connections,” said Lewes Public Library Director Lea Rosell.

Copies of the book may be borrowed from Delaware Public Libraries. In addition to individual copies, the libraries offer a “book club in a bag” option, which includes 10 copies of the book and book club resources. The book also may be purchased at biblion in Lewes and Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, with net proceeds funding the Lewes Loves Book program.

Joining the Lewes Public Library and biblion under the Lewes Loves Books umbrella are the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and Cape Henlopen State Park; the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment; the University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute; the Sussex County Department of Libraries; the Sussex Bird Club; Beebe Healthcare’s Department of Integrative Health; and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce.

Other organizations are invited to join the Lewes Loves Books initiative, particularly if they have existing programs or are willing to develop content related to the natural world at Delaware’s beaches. Interested groups should call 645-2733, ext. 4117, or email

Upcoming events planned around “Birds by the Shore” include:

— Lecture: “Contemporary Environmental Issues”: 11 a.m. Nov. 1, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, 520 Dupont Ave., Lewes

— “Bird Watching 101: The Who, What, Why, How, Where and When of Birding”: 2 p.m. Nov. 3, Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave.

— Bird Walks: 8 a.m. Nov. 5 and 12, Cape Henlopen State Park, 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes

— Harbor of Refuge: 11 a.m. Nov. 9, Cape Henlopen State Park

— “A Meeting of Migrations: Horseshoe Crabs and Red Knots” featuring Michael Oates and presented by the Lewes Bird Club: 2 p.m. Nov. 17, Lewes Public Library

For more, visit