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Common reading proposal ‘Tell them who I am: The lives of homeless women’ by Elliot Liebow

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  1. Background.
    1. Books sent to the students beforehand.
    2. The book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.
  2. Scope of proposal.
    1. Recommended freshman common reading.
    2. Volunteer practicum at a homeless women's shelter.
    3. Aimulated or actual budget study of the cost of living.
  3. Analytical procedures.
    1. An honest and real approach to the causes of homelessness.
    2. Empathy earned from the book.
  4. Evaluation of content.
    1. The foreground of the book.
    2. The problem of homelessness.
    3. Section one of the book: Problems in living.
    4. Section two of the book: Making it.
    5. Appendixes that give statistics and facts.
  5. The academic value of the book.
  6. The social value of the book.
  7. Proposal direction.
    1. Timeline for adoption.
    2. Budget.
    3. Summary and supporting information.

Many colleges and universities have implemented common reading programs for college freshmen. Many times, it is up to the libraries discretion as to what book is chosen for this program. Sometimes libraries themselves initiated the common reading program, other times it was a joint effort to collaborate with a curriculum initiative or orientation. Both are valid and effective ways to implement common reading programs.

In some cases, books are sent to the students beforehand; other times students purchase the book on their own before coming to campus. The majority of the schools tie the program to a freshman, first year-first experience program or a new student orientation. There are some that are also used in traditional courses, but this is not standard and is usually something that the teaching faculty does on their own.

[...] It is not preaching, it is not disproportionate hype or propaganda, and it is not written in such a way that it could be construed as uncomfortable to read. While some individuals are uncomfortable hearing about sexual violation against women, it is another one of the dehumanizing facts of being homeless. However this topic is only touched upon very, very briefly as a relatable fact but not as a disturbance for disturbance sake. One such case of controversial literature in a common reading piece is Alice Walker's, The Color Purple1. [...]

[...] Tell Them Who I Am however doesn't contain any uncomfortable topics that could be deemed as controversial thereby unleashing criticism of the university who chooses it. The academic value of this book is vastly imperative not only to those who read it and are taught by it but important to those who are the instructors as well. This is the kind of book that you carry with you long after the reading is at completion. This would be great for several different departments to incorporate into their common readership. [...]

[...] Chicago: Turtleback Section Two:: Scope of Proposal Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women by Elliot Liebow is being recommended as a freshman common reading for all new MWSU freshmen. While I originally believed that this book would serve effectively in the scope of mental health or social work majors, I have changed my opinion to incorporate all students. I think it would be a viable and important piece of literature to all who fully encompass it. [...]

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