Creating community through a shared story

Sunday Signal

Creating connections is an essential element of creating community — having the chance to share ideas, dive deeper into topics and open your mind to possibilities not previously considered. What better way to do this is there than through literature?

I invite you to join other readers, from throughout the city, by taking part in this year’s One Story One City reading program. Every March, the Santa Clarita Public Library takes the opportunity to select one story to read, celebrate and discuss with the entire city. This year’s book selection is called “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by No. 1 New York Times best-selling author Lisa See.

“The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” gives a fascinating look at a rural village in a tea-growing region of China, and the people who reside there. Set against this backdrop, the story beautifully delves into the relationship of a family, and tells the powerful story of two women separated by circumstance, culture and distance.

The One Story One City program begins in March, and is free and easy to join. First, you should read the story — simply pick up a copy at your local Santa Clarita Public Library branch. The book is also available as an e-book and audio book. Due to the nature of some of the topics covered in the book, this story is recommended for adults, and not suitable for readers under the age of 16.

Once you read the book, visit your Santa Clarita Public Library branch to pick up a brochure, or visit the One Story One City website at, to learn about upcoming events celebrating themes from the book.

Don’t miss a unique opportunity to hear author Lisa See speak right here in Santa Clarita on March 2, at 10:30 a.m. at the Newhall Family Theatre. See will share her research process, highlights from the book and answer your questions.

Additional events themed around the book include an ancient Chinese tea ceremony, a “Make and Take” tea cake class, a Pu’er tea presentation and tasting, a genealogy workshop, a documentary about international adoption, and a special musical performance of the Chinese zither/guzheng instrument.

While you are at the Santa Clarita Public Library, make sure you take the time to check out other offerings. Our library has what you need for your next adventure — whether that’s immersing yourself in fiction, conducting academic research or taking your toddler to socialize with others at one of the popular “Storytimes.”

I encourage you to take advantage of all the services, programs and opportunities available at your local Santa Clarita Public Library branch. You’ll be surprised at all they have to offer. To learn more, please visit

Ken Striplin is the Santa Clarita City Manager and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in his column are his own and not necessarily those of The Signal

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