One Book One New Orleans

What do we do?

A campaign for literacy and community, One Book One New Orleans calls on New Orleans residents to share the experience of reading the same book at the same time every fall.

How do we do it?

A selection committee comprised of Young Leadership Council (YLC) members and book-loving New Orleanians chooses one book each year. We encourage everyone in New Orleans to read this book, working to foster a deeper sense of community through this reading experience. Our partners include Shell, the New Orleans Public Library, Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans, Radio for the Blind, Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners, and the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, all of who help us to reach those who would otherwise be excluded from a community of readers. In the fall, we host a series of events inspired by the selected book, typically including a panel discussion with the author(s), a book drive, and a community book discussion. These events are free and open to the public.

All are welcome to volunteer with One Book One New Orleans! Our activities vary from sending books to inmates across the southeast to helping other organizations with their literacy-related events to working at our own fall events season. Our only requirements for volunteers are dependability and a passion for literacy!

Amazing! Past Book Selections:

  • A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines, 2004
  • Rising Tide, by John M. Barry, 2005
  • Coming Out the Door for the Ninth Ward by Nine Time Social and Pleasure Club, 2007
  • City of Refuge by Tom Piazza, 2008
  • Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at The New Orleans Table by Sara Roehen, 2009
  • Satchmo: My Life in New Orleans by Louis Armstrong, 2010
  • Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Life, and Death by Dan Baum, 2011
  • The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square by Ned Sublette, 2012
  • Louisiana by Erna Bordber, 2013
  • Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker, 2014
  • New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hot Spot by Brian Boyles, 2015

One Book One New Orleans

Sign Up!

For volunteer opportunities, check the YLC calendar and our Facebook page.

Project Leaders

Megan Holt
Elizabeth Hyman
Jennie Merrill
Ian Blanchard

For more information, e-mail

Looking for more opportunities? Check out these simlar YLC projects that need YOUR help!