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Open Book / Open Mind History

Open Book / Open Mind Online

Open Book / Open Mind Begins

Montclair Public Library’s flagship series of literary events began in 2015, when series co-founders and Library Foundation members David Jones and Jennifer Dorr-Moon organized the first of these “must watch” author conversations. Their goals were to rally support for the Library, highlight top authors from Montclair and beyond, and spark the public discussion of important ideas across our highly diverse community. Over the past six years, with the help of Library staff and an influential advisory board still chaired by Dave and Jen, Open Book / Open Mind has hosted Christina Baker Kline, Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Charles Blow, Maureen Dowd, Tayari Jones, Anna Quindlen, Lawrence O’Donnell, Alan Cumming and many others. We are proud that participation in Open Book / Open Mind has become a Montclair tradition.

The Series Moves Online

In the spring of 2020 during the coronavirus lockdown, the Library transferred Open Book / Open Mind to a webcast format. During this past year of virtual programming, we have hosted an array of bestselling, critically acclaimed authors such as Alice Hoffman, Ada Calhoun, Michael Schmidt, Jonathan Alter, Peter Baker, and Susan Glasser. We have also attracted viewers from the British Isles, France, and over 15 states beyond NJ. The series will remain online until it is safe to hold large gatherings.

Meanwhile, for 2021, the Library is committed to a full roster of Open Book / Open Mind Online webcasts featuring Isabel Wilkerson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ann Patchett, Charles Blow, Elizabeth Kolbert, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and more. For information about current and upcoming Open Book / Open Mind Online events, click here or contact MPL programming librarian Ariel Zeitlin.

Explore Past Programs

We offer complete annotated lists of author conversations and multimedia materials:

  • 2020 includes Gail Collins, Alice Hoffman, Ada Calhoun and Michael Schmidt
  • 2019 includes Dan Barry, Lidia Bastianich, Julia Alvarez, Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey
  • 2018 includes Nathan Englander, Tayari Jones and Lawrence O’Donnell
  • 2017 includes Isabel Allende, Katy Tur, Floyd Abrams and Jacqueline Woodson
  • 2016 includes Anna Quindlen, Maureen Dowd, and Khalil Gibran Muhammad
  • 2015 includes Christina Baker Kline, Frank Bruni and Charles Blow

Funding for Open Book / Open Mind

Open Book / Open Mind is currently made possible by the support of The Montclair Public Library Foundation, The Investors Foundation, and The Montclair Foundation. Diana Lunin generously funded the first year of the series and Susan and Thomas Dunn generously funded the second year. If you enjoy and appreciate Open Book / Open Mind’s contributions to our community, please consider donating to the Montclair Public Library Foundation to keep our series going strong.

Let’s Connect

The Bellevue Ave. Branch will be closed until further notice due to no heat in the building.