By Laura Simon, library assistant, Hollywood Library
For the Hollywood Star, January 2010
Now that the hectic holiday season is over, let’s take a moment to appreciate the little things in life: germs! Multnomah County Library’s eighth annual “Everybody Reads” book selection is The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—And How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, by Steven Johnson. The Ghost Map is a thrilling account of the devastating cholera outbreak in London during the summer of 1854, and the doctor who risked his life to prove how the epidemic was spread.
This year’s Everybody Reads project is presented in conjunction with Beyond Fact, a new partnership between Multnomah County Library and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry that uses issues of current importance in the sciences to inform, engage and enlighten. Science and technology affect nearly every aspect of our lives, yet many of us don’t know enough about these topics to be able to talk with each other, form opinions or participate in decision-making, either personally or at a governmental level.
The first step is simple: pick up a copy of The Ghost Map and a program guide at your nearest library or participating bookstore, and join in the discussion of germs, the spread of disease, public health policy and the development of our modern urban environment. Then go wash your hands and have a healthy new year!