WARREN Libraries' program unites communities

The play is a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes monkey trial.
WARREN -- A program between public libraries of Trumbull and Ashtabula counties aims to foster community spirit through reading.
"One Book, Two Counties" starts Monday and runs through April 16 when readers in Trumbull and Ashtabula counties can read "Inherit the Wind" by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee.
The play is a fictionalized version of the 1925 Scopes monkey trial that matched Trumbull County native lawyer Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan.
"We hope that it gives a sense of community to people with everyone reading the same thing and discussing the same thing," said Jan Vaughn, public relations coordinator for the Trumbull library. "It's a good place for continuing the dialogue."
Why book was chosen
She said the book was chosen both because of Darrow's roots and because of the time period it depicts. Darrow, who spent his childhood in Kinsman, practiced law in Ashtabula County. The Scopes trial occurred in Tennessee and involved John Scopes, a high school biology teacher charged with illegally teaching the theory of evolution.
Vaughn said the book aims at adults and teens.
"Families are certainly encouraged to discuss it," she said.
The "One Book, Two Counties" idea is patterned after a program by the Seattle public libraries a few years ago. The local libraries launched their first attempt last year with "The Light in the Forest."
Last year's heavy snow cut down on participation, Vaughn said. This year's program started later to avoid the worst winter weather.
"We hope it engenders a spirit of teamwork in the community," Vaughn said.
Book discussion dates, beginning at 1:30 p.m. March 30 at Bristol Public Library, are scheduled in both counties throughout the reading program. The schedule is available through the library's Web site, www.wtcpl.lib.oh.us/.
Film versions of the book and "Clarence Darrow: A One-Man Play" by David Rintels also will be presented during the program. Tours of the Octagon House, Darrow's boyhood Kinsman home, also will be offered from 1 to 4 p.m. March 21.
"The Roaring 20s," meanwhile, is the theme of Ohio Chautauqua 2004 event scheduled for July 6-10 in Warren. The event features history presentations, education, music and theater and is sponsored by the Ohio Humanities County with support from Ohio State University's Humanities Institute. Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County and Warren-Trumbull County Public Library are the local sponsors.
"We wanted to get people in the '20s mindset," Vaughn said.