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Stark Library Hosts David Sheff on Addiction and Recovery

July 18, 2019 (Canton, Ohio) – Each year Stark Library, in collaboration with other area libraries, encourages residents of all ages to join together in reading a common book and sharing ideas through lively — and challenging – community conversation with One Book, One Community Stark County. 

This year’s book selection, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff, offers raw insight into the world of addiction, relapse and recovery through the eyes of a parent. One in ten Ohioans are battling with alcohol or drug addiction, making this a timely topic.

Beautiful Boy was named Best Nonfiction Book by Entertainment Weekly, an Amazon “Best Books of 2008’ and won first place in the Barnes and Nobel Discover Award in nonfiction. His article, “My Addicted Son”, on which the book was based, won a special award from the American Psychological Association for “outstanding contribution to the understanding of addiction.” In 2018, it was made into a film starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet.

“A recent poll showed that 1 in 4 Stark County residents are concerned about this growing epidemic. Due to the stigma surrounding it, only an estimated 25% of addicts will ever seek help, so we need to work together to understand this complex disease,” said Marianna DiGiacomo. “That’s why the Library wants to help bring this topic out of the shadows and keep the conversation going.”

Younger readers will read and discuss HIGH: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs by David and Nic Sheff. "High" presents factual, evidence-based information about drugs, alcohol, and addiction in an easy to digest, age-appropriate manner.

Sheff is also the author of Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy,Game Over, and is working on his next book, The Buddhist of Death Row: Finding Light in the Darkest Place. In 2009, he was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the World’s Most Influential People and honored with a Special Tribute Award by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

A series of events and activities related to the topics of addiction and recovery will be hosted through October. The feature event will be held on October 30th at 6:30 p.m. at the Canton Palace Theatre. Sheff will share his experiences dealing with addiction and the impact it can have on a family.  There will be a Q&A and book signing after the event. Books will be available for purchase the night of the event.

Events and activities related to Beautiful Boy:

Stark Library programming:

A Stark Conversation on Opiates
Kent State University—Stark Campus
October 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Join a panel of community leaders as they discuss the drug and alcohol epidemic in Stark County.

Breaking Barriers: Stand United for Addiction Awareness
Lake Branch on October 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Perry Sippo Branch on October 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Join Travis Bornstien as he discusses how the Breaking Barriers program is working toward safer communities, healthier families, and ending the stigma of addiction every day.

Let’s Go to the Movies: Beautiful Boy
Perry Sippo Branch
October 23 at 6 p.m.

Meet Author David Sheff
Palace Theater
October 30 at 6:30 p.m.

Start Talking
Presented by C&A
Plain Branch on October 9 at 6:30 p.m.
Learn the best ways to start the conversation with your children and teens about living healthy, drug-free lives.


Community Book discussions:

Perry Sippo Branch
October 3 at 6 p.m.

Jackson Community Branch
October 3 at 2 p.m.

Madge Youtz Branch
October 8 at 1 p.m. 

Sandy Valley Branch
October 14 at 6 p.m.

North Branch
October 17 at 6:30 p.m. 

Main Library
October 19 at 2 p.m.

Lake Community Branch
October 22 at 6 p.m.

Massillon Public Library
Hidden in Plain Sight
Date: TBD 

North Canton Public Library
Book club discussion
October 7 at 2 p.m. with the First Monday Book Chat

We would like to thank Stark MHAR, Child and Adolescent, and Kent State University Stark for helping to sponsor these events.

One Book, One Community Stark County is organized by Stark Library, collaborating with Canal Fulton Public Library, Louisville Public Library, Massillon Public Library, Minerva Public Library, and North Canton Public Library. Each year representatives from libraries, educational systems, community organizations, and volunteer groups come together to select a book and plan events throughout Stark County. This is Stark County’s 15th year participating in the program. One Book, One Community aims to encourage reading and forge community bonds across ages and backgrounds while reading and discussing the same book.

More information on One Book, One Community Stark County is available at




Community-wide reading, or "One Book," programs are designed to promote the value of reading by recommending a compelling book that links the community in a common conversation. One Book programs encourage dialogue about a particular book, but also foster lifelong learning and the development of a strong community identity. Launched in Seattle in 1998 with great success, the "One Book" concept has swept the nation, including such cities as Chicago, New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Houston.





Inviting. Informing. Transforming.  At Stark Library, we invite everyone into a welcoming place, inform them with resources that will help them grow, and then send them back out to change and transform the world. We think of this ongoing, lifelong process as OUR PURPOSE.

One of the 9 largest library systems in Ohio – and the county’s oldest library – Stark Library serves the community through 10 locations, six mobile libraries, and a 24/7 digital branch.

A 2009 winner of the prestigious National Medal for library service, Stark Library serves more than 240,000 residents, annually circulating nearly 4 million items from its 1.5 million item collection and providing access to an additional 66 million items from lending networks throughout Ohio. Each year the library presents more than 8,000 programs for 150,000 attendees and provides 195,000 computer sessions on the publicly available computers found in each branch. In 2018, Stark Library served nearly 2 million visitors at all locations and online.

For locations, hours or more information visit or call 330.452.0665.


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