Common Read Recommendation Form

The University of Northern Iowa community is beginning the selection process for our "common read" for the 2014-2015 academic year. This book will be used in the curriculum for the First-Year Cornerstone class, provide inspiration for a Strayer Wood Theatre production, and bring together the campus and municipal communities in discussion around critical issues.  The common read selection committee is seeking your book recommendations for this campus-wide project.

This year, the common read must relate to the theme "Media & Social Media."  The news media have chronicled history and changed history at the same time. Newspapers, magazines, radio and television have changed throughout the years, affecting what information or misinformation we receive, when we receive it, and how we interpret it. The personal computer, the internet, and mobile technology have collapsed barriers of time and space, allowing for more information, misinformation, and customized information in almost any time and place. Social media have further enabled instant information and misinformation to become an integral part of our lives, and have altered the very notion of "mass" media. This has influenced news, families, education, business, politics and more. What do the changes in media mean for our educational, economic, social, and political future?

Before submitting your recommendation, ask yourself the following:

1. Will this book stimulate critical thinking and discussion among new UNI students?

2. Will this book provide opportunity for a common intellectual experience for the broader Cedar Falls/Waterloo community through year-long, campus-wide programming?

The criteria for book selection is listed below. The common read should:

- engage students and generate questions, reflection, and conversations across a variety of topics, including a current issue related to the theme "Media and Social Media"

- be relatively short (preferably 350 pages or less), and at the intellectual level of what should be expected of a college freshman

- challenge students to use critical thinking skills and consider multiple perspectives, moving beyond dualistic (either-or) thinking

- have an author who is currently living, and potentially able to come to campus for a lecture

- be available in a relatively inexpensive paperback edition (less than $15)

- encourage student-driven programs and initiatives

- be readable, tell a good story, and have the ability to enhance classroom teaching by a variety of instructors

Having considered all of the questions and criteria listed above, please complete all of the fields below to submit your recommendation by noon on Tuesday, October 1.