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Academics

Common Book

Otterbein's Common Book program creates a shared reading experience for all incoming first-year students, faculty, many staff members, and student leaders. A committee of faculty, staff, and students select from over fifty books each year in an effort to find a significant contemporary work to read the next year. Learn more about the program.

HIDDEN AMERICA by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Hidden_America_lg (2)

Campus Author Visit: 
October 21-23
*Indicates event is open to the community

Wednesday, October 21
3 pm: All-Campus Convocation, Cowan Hall*
4:15pm: Book signing and campus reception, Roush Hall

Thursday, October 22
7:30pm Library Lecture & Reception, Courtright Memorial Library*

Friday, October 23
10:50am Theater 1000 production, Pit Theatre, Campus Center



Common Book Video Competition

Congratulations to Common Book Video Competition Winner, Erin Bloomfield. Erin is first year student, majoring in Spanish Education. When asked why Erin picked this topic for her video, she explained, "I knew that I didn’t know a lot about the business of trapping animals, and I had always wondered what happens to the animals that are being trapped...The entire experience was very exciting and eye opening. I feel like we need to discover more jobs like this to see how our world works!"

Check out Erin's Video!

Read With Us

Check out books under consideration for future Common Book programs HERE.

Common Book Selection Criteria:

  • It encourages scholastic intellectual development for new students.
  • It is compatible with Otterbein's mission.
  • It is appropriate for a wide variety of disciplines and classes.
  • It is by a significant contemporary author who can visit campus.
  • It is not a book read in high school.
  • It is challenging but not overwhelming to entering first-year students.
  • It provides potential for hands-on experiences or service learning.
  • It will sustain discussion for a year.

Selection of the Common Book

A committee of faculty, staff, and students select from over fifty books each year in an effort to find a significant contemporary work to read the next year. Members of the committee meet weekly to discuss the books nominated for the next Common Book, and then continue to meet to prepare the introduction of the book to the campus community.

If you enjoy reading and are interested in joining the committee, contact Jennifer Bechtold, Co-Chair of the Common Book Committee, at (614) 823-3202. Interested in submitting a book for consideration? Please complete this online form to tell us more about the book you'd like us to review.