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Common Book Program at PA College: Current Common Book Program

This guide provides information about the Common Read program and its events.

What is the Common Book program?

The purpose of a Common Book is to build bridges between experiences we share no matter what our field of scholarship or course of study. The Common Book program will include programming tied to the themes of the book. Our hope with this program is to engage the college community in larger discussions about relevant topics in healthcare. Those interested in participating will all read the same book and engage in meaningful dialogue around the themes and content of that book. 


2017-2018 Common Book Program

This year’s Common Book, Abegail Ntleko’s Empty Hands, touches on important themes, including social justice, race, gender, healthcare access, education, and more. 

Those choosing to participate in the Common Book series will:

  • Read the common book and engage literary analysis skills to deepen understanding, application, and contextual relevance of the book’s major themes
  • Think about the struggles that some people face and how they overcome them
  • Consider how governmental policies (or lack thereof) inhibit the health of its population
  • Consider the role of healthcare professionals and the ethical responsibilities they face in maintaining a community’s health 
  • Reflect on the place of activism and advocacy in healthcare professions
  • Explore ways to build empathy for stigmatized populations

Image result for empty hands ntleko


How do I get a copy of the book?

Your instructor may have this as a recommended text in MBS. If it does not appear in MBS, you may purchase it from any other book seller, including Amazon or Barnes and Noble; both print and eBook options are available. There are a limited number of copies available to borrow in the College's Learning Commons. You may also borrow this book from public libraries.

Here is the information you need to know to find the book:

Title: Empty Hands, A Memoir: One Woman's Journey to Save Children Orphaned by AIDS in South Africa 

Author: Sister Abegail Ntleko

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

Publication Year: 2015

ISBN 10: 1583949321

ISBN 13: 978-1583949320

Director, Learning Commons

Basic Literacy

This program support basic literacy, one of the skills essential to 21st century success according to the PA Library Association's PA Forward program. Learn more about PA Forward at the PA Forward website


Health Sciences Library - Seraph Learning Commons - Stoudt Building - 850 Greenfield Road - Lancaster, PA 17603 - - (717 947-6022).PA Forward logo