The library’s annual community read program, Arlington Reads Together (ART), returns in March 2022. This year’s selected title, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a New York Times bestseller focusing on indigenous peoples’ understanding of the natural world, and the intersection between indigenous and scientific knowledge. 

Library visitors can pick up copies of Braiding Sweetgrass at the Robbins or Fox Library, or request a copy by phone or online via the MLN catalog. The title is also available as a digital download ebook or audiobook via Hoopla. Book discussions and other events will take place throughout March. A full schedule of events and programs will be released in early February and will be available on the library’s website,  

Kimmerer is a self-described “mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.” In addition to Braiding Sweetgrass, she is the author of the highly-acclaimed  Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. Kimmerer was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. Her work has appeared in OrionWhole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She tours widely and has been featured on NPR’s “On Being” with Krista Tippett and in 2015 addressed the general assembly of the United Nations on the topic of “Healing Our Relationship with Nature.” Kimmerer lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

Community read book selections are chosen by a committee of library staff and supporters, librarians from Arlington Public Schools, members of the Diversity Task Group of Envision Arlington, and other community partners. This year, the selection committee chose three finalists from a list of over 30 titles nominated by community members. A public voting period in October showed a clear preference for Braiding Sweetgrass, with almost 50% of votes. “In the library we talk a lot about stories as windows we can see the world through, or mirrors that allow us to see ourselves,” says Andrea Nicolay, director of libraries. “Braiding Sweetgrass will be both in Arlington, and that’s part of the appeal of this selection.”

The Arlington Reads Together community read program launched in 2003 as a way of bringing Arlington together through literature. The goal is to address issues, understand differences and create connections through shared experience. The program is made possible by the generous support of the Arlington Libraries Foundation, The Friends of the Robbins Library, Arlington Public Schools, the Diversity Task Group, and the Arlington Human Rights Commission.  

Questions can be directed to Anna Litten at or 781-316-3202.