Clinton County Reads 2024 begins March 18


Clinton County Reads 2024 begins on Monday, March 18, with “What Caring Requires,” a panel discussion featuring Dr. Craig Strafford, Hannah Lutz, and Lee Sandlin, all who work on behalf of Clinton County’s homeless population.

The program is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Wilmington Public Library, and will open the month-long slate of events focusing on acclaimed non-fiction author Tracy Kidder’s “Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People,” the book chosen in balloting by local readers.

Blanchester Public Library Director Chris Owens, who chairs the Clinton County Reads Steering Committee, said, “This isn’t the first time readers have chosen a book for our countywide reading program that touches on a local issue, but I cannot imagine a more topical book for 2024 than ‘Rough Sleepers.’ I encourage everyone to read this book and attend the programs and discussions, so we can gain a better understanding of homelessness and some of the ways to address this growing crisis.”

CCReads 2024 events will run through April 19 and are all open to the public.

The Blanchester Public Library will host Dr. Mark Mussman, from the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 21. His topic will be “Housing is Healthcare.”

The Sabina Public Library will host Hope House director Katie Terrell, at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4, who will speak on “Wilmington Hope House: 10 Years of Caring for Rough Sleepers in Clinton County.”

The Wilmington Public Library will host Robyn O’Dell, outreach coordinator for Healthsouce Ohio, at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 11. She will speak about providing healthcare to underserved people in the community and offer information on how to obtain health insurance and other health-related needs.

Book discussions are scheduled as follows: Books and Brews Book Club, 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, at TinCap; A.C.T. brown bag lunch and discussion, led by Rachel Boyd, R.N., B.N.S., noon, Wednesday, April 3, Wilmington Public Library; Blanchester Public Library Book Club, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 11, at the library; and Sabina Public Library Book Club, 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 19, at the library.

Wilmington Public Library will also host a read-in, with coffee and refreshments, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., on Friday, March 22. The informal agenda will allow time for reading and conversation about Kidder’s book.

Chef Jen Purkey will cater the closing dinner, on Thursday, April 18, in the Wilmington Municipal Building Moyer Community Room. The 6:30 p.m. dinner and keynote address, “Storytelling’s Connections to Healthcare,” by Dayton storyteller Nicole Ruttencutter, R.N., will be preceded by a 5 p.m. social hour at Olde Town Tavern.

Cost of the dinner, which includes salad, entree, dessert, beverage, and gratuity, is $20, and prepaid reservations should be made by April 15 at or by calling 937-763-4287.

Copies of “Rough Sleepers” are available at all public libraries in the county and through Books ’n’ More at

Now in its 19th year, Clinton County Reads is sponsored by the Blanchester Public Library, the Sabina Public Library and its New Vienna Branch, the Wilmington Public Library and its Clinton-Massie Branch, and Books ’n’ More.

In addition to Owens, members of the CCReads Steering Committee are Eileen Brady, Peggy Dunn, Joe Knueven, Bonnie Starcher, Marla Stewart, Esther Sorg, and Mary Thomas Watts.

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