SDHC Grantee Feature: Siouxland Reads Kicks Off in Sioux Falls

SDHC Grantee Features Popular Swedish Novel for first "One Book Siouxland"

Though the gruff protagonist from "A Man Called Ove" isn't known in literary circles for his love of parties, even he probably would have smiled at the revelry surrounding the launch of the new Siouxland Reads program.z

Siouxland Libraries kicked off the community reading program, supported by a $5,000 grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, April 3 at Icon Lounge in Sioux Falls with a screening of the Swedish film based on the popular novel "A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman, the 2018 "One Book Siouxland."

Local readers helped select the international bestseller centered on a widowed Swede who's known as the "quintessential angry old man next door." Ove finds an unlikely friendship and readers discover a "heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it's shared."

Ronning Branch Librarian Jane Taylor, the project director, said Siouxland Libraries' adult programming team designed the community reading program to encourage people in the Sioux Falls area to engage with quality literature and each other by reading and discussing the same book.

Promoting Reading

The program's goal is to promote reading and literacy by providing a means for "people of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels to sit down together and talk about a shared reading experience."

During the April 3 kickoff event, Bill Peterson and Friends entertained the crowd with Swedish music before the screening, which 79 people attended.

"We received many compliments as people were leaving," said Taylor. "They thought it was so great that the library provided this free program and that the movie was wonderful. They kept asking when we were going to do it again."

Siouxland Libraries will host other related programs during the next month, including a panel of speakers on immigration and discussions in which participants can exchange views on the themes of the book.
"The outcome we aim for and expect is a more connected, stronger community with an increased appreciation for literature," Taylor said.

The mission of Siouxland Libraries is to "serve the City of Sioux Falls and surrounding areas through traditional library services, community outreach, and by providing quality adult and youth programming."

Siouxland Reads 2018 Full Schedule

The 2018 Siouxland Reads One Book selection is
  • "The Stories They Told" -- Exhibit Grand Opening
    Saturday, April 7, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
    Downtown Library, 200 N. Dakota Avenue, 367-8700
    Curt Pederson, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections at the American Swedish Institute, will open the exhibition, "The Stories They Told," by discussing the history of the folk art medium, flat plane figure carving. Immediately following (11 a.m. to noon), singer Ron Johnson and fiddler Bill Peterson will tell musical stories about leaving Sweden for the trials and joys of Dakota life.

  • "The Stories They Told" -- American Swedish Institute Traveling Exhibit
    April 7-29
    Downtown Library, 200 N. Dakota Avenue, 367-8700
    Visit "The Stories They Told," a traveling exhibition of Scandinavian flat plane figure carvings paired with animated illustrations. Featuring carvings from the early 1900s to more contemporary works, the exhibit presents the work of some of the most recognized and sought-after craft practitioners of this art form.

Community Conversations

  • Immigration Stories: A New Life in South Dakota
    Saturday, April 7, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., Ronning Branch, 3100 E. 49th Street, 367-8140
    Young adults share the powerful stories of their lives in their homeland and their immigration to South Dakota.

  • Embracing Generational Diversity
    Thursday, April 19, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Downtown Library, 200 N. Dakota Avenue, 367-8700
    Discuss the differences between generations and explore how life experiences affect how people interact. Presented by Rhonda Kemmis.

  • The Many Sides of Grief
    Thursday, April 26, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Downtown Library, 200 N. Dakota Avenue, 367-8700
    Using themes from "A Man Called Ove," Dr. Marcie Moran, founder of the Center for Grieving and Loss and Director of Catholic Family Services, will explore the grieving process and how to cope with loss.
SDHC Grantee Siouxland Libraries is celebrating a new community reading program.

Book Discussions

Siouxland Libraries invite area residents to read "A Man Called Ove" and share their experiences in a library-facilitated book discussion. Register at the links provided below. 

Simon & Schuster have developed a discussion guide for "A Man Called Ove" with questions and more for those who want to delve deeper into the book.

SDHC Grantee Siouxland Libraries is celebrating a new community reading program.

Sioux Falls Area Resident? Help Choose the One Book Siouxland 2019

Taylor said information will be released later this year for people interested in becoming part of advisory and selection teams for One Book Siouxland 2019.

To suggest a One Book Siouxland 2019, you can also email Jane Taylor at with the book title and author and an explanation for your recommendation.