The Community Reading Project (CRP) began with an exploratory group formed in 2005. The Group was to explore the idea of expanding the Housing and Residence Life Common Reading into a University-wide community reading program. The group selected the first book, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. This group was convened by Wendy Wenner (Dean emeritus of the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies) and included:
David Alvarez (English) Cheryl Boudreaux (Sociology) Michele Dick (Housing and Residence Life) Christine Drewel (Liberal Studies) Leijhi Koval (Student Academic Success Center) Kimberly Max (Graduate Student) Hugh McGuire (Computer Science) Susan Mendoza-Jones (Housing and Residence Life) Lisa Miller (Continuing Education) Josh Sisco (Student Senate) Don Williams (Sociology) Maureen Wolverton (Liberal Studies)
In 2006, the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies (BCOIS), along with the Library, began to build partnerships with other university departments, university faculty, students, and the local communities. BCOIS also established a book selection and programming committee. The CRP Committee currently collaborates with faculty in a variety of disciplines, including the Writing Center, the University Bookstore, Work Life Connections, Continuing Education, Student Life, and the Registrar, just to name a few.
The Community Reading Project, in 2008, began to consider the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies' (BCOIS) Campus Conversations Series when choosing a book. BCOIS invited GVSU to have Conversations on Economic Poverty and Justice. CRP found The Glass Castle to be an excellent way to engage in that conversation. BCOIS invited Conversations on Migration in 2009. CRP selected A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier as a part of that conversation.
The Community Reading Project is just one of the initiatives within the Integrative Learning program.