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Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Chosen for 17th Annual Santa Barbara Reads

This October, the Santa Barbara Public Library is excited to celebrate the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus by offering the novel and related texts as the Santa Barbara Reads 2018 selection.

Lauded as the first science fiction novel, Shelley’s 1818 classic explores themes such as prejudice, creation, the monstrous, and the ethics of scientific advancement. Santa Barbara Reads programming this year will celebrate Frankenstein’s cultural legacy and will encompass everything from poetry lectures and book discussions to zine making workshops and a costume ball. “We chose Frankenstein, in part, because its themes still resonate,” explained Jessica Cadiente, Santa Barbara Public Library Director. “The Santa Barbara Reads program brings the community together to celebrate reading, and Frankenstein allows us to engage people of all ages and perspectives in countless discussions about issues that impact all of us.”

In its 17th year, the SB Reads Program encourages the community to read one book together in order to spark conversations and share connections. This year’s program, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation, will not only offer programming and copies of Frankenstein to the public but will also offer free copies of related books for all ages. These books run the gamut of forms and genres—including board books, graphic novels, non-fiction texts, and more—and provide several different entry points for readers to delve into Mary Shelley’s life, the science of Frankenstein, and the themes of the novel.  “We’re thrilled to be able to support the expansion of this treasured community program,” said Anne Howard, the Foundation Board’s President. “The Santa Barbara Public Library Foundation’s mission is to fund large-scale initiatives, and we look forward to working with the library to grow SB Reads in the coming years.”

The Library could never do this alone. For this year’s community read, the Library is partnering with many local entities including area schools, downtown businesses, and organizations such as Connecting Through Sign Language, DramaDogs Theater Company, Out of the Box Theatre Company, Ridley-Tree Cancer Center, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture, Santa Barbara Museum of Art Community Speakers Program, UCSB Alumni Association, and UCSB Arts & Lectures to provide the community with a variety of exciting and relevant events.

Santa Barbara Reads will run from September 28 through November 1, 2018.


To stay informed individuals can access the SBPL web calendar with all events, programs, and classes and/or sign-up for the SBPL newsletter in English or Spanish. Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System online at for information about library hours, locations, programs, and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.


Contact: Lisa Neubert, Programming Librarian

Phone: 805-564-5605




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