Danbury Public Library stocked 75 copies of "Breakfast with Buddha" by Roland Merullo as part of the city's One Book One Community program.
Merullo will visit Danbury on Oct. 9 to speak at WCSU just before the Dalai Lama visits Danbury to speak at Western Connecticut State University on Oct. 18 and 19.
As Dr. James Schmotter, WCSU's president, said during today's kick-off event for this year's One Book program, "It's not a kind of one-off event, where we read a book and we talk about it. This is a series of events," Schmotter said, "built around the topic of the teachings of Buddha."
, in cooperation with the Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace in Redding is bringing the Dalai Lama to Danbury in October for two talks on two days. Since announcing his visit, WCSU has hosted the Prime Minister of Tibet, , who spoke in the Ives Concert Hall on Feb. 21. The university also hosted five free workshops on Tibetan medicine and spirituality from January to April.
Schmotter said in addition to what WCSU is doing, the city, the library, Danbury Public Schools, the Wooster School and the Redding Buddhist temple are all working together to make this year a time that will help people become more compassionate and understanding in Danbury.
"We could not do it without you. We can come together and make the Danbury community a more aware, and if I dare, a more intellectual place. We are increasing the intellectual capital," Schmotter said.
"It's a great opportunity for the university and the city to network with each other to strengthen ties in learning and social awareness," said Dr. Oscar De Los Santos, chairman of the university's Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Department.
Sal Pascarella, superintendent of Danbury Schools, said the One Book One Community program gives students something much bigger than a chance to read another book. It gives them a chance to meet an author and it will give them many opportunities to talk to a variety of people about a book. It gives their parents a book to read and people to discuss it with.
"Thank you for taking this on," Pascarella said. "It enriches conversation and interaction. It makes a big difference in how the kids will view literature."
Deidre Coury said the Dalai Lama's teaching includes research that shows that people who are more compassionate live happier lives. She said people can be taught to be compassionate and warm and good, and that improves their education and it helps them reach their potential.
"It's full of energy and it's very sincere," said Michele Capozzella, interim director of the Danbury Library. "It's on the reading list at the High School and I really ended up liking it a lot."