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Wright masterpiece subject of library program

| Saturday, April 28, 2012, 3:43 a.m.

Libraries across Westmoreland County are hoping to bind residents together with a book.

The Westmoreland County Library Network is featuring Franklin Toker's "Fallingwater Rising" as part of its annual One Book, One County reading program.

The book chronicles the history of Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater, in Mill Run.

The program is featured in 14 of the county's 20 public libraries, which provide about 20 copies of the book for patrons. It also includes a trip to Fallingwater and Wright's Duncan House, along with a lunch presentation by Toker.

Although the trip's date is to be determined, Norwin Public Library's discussion of the book is 1 p.m. June 13.

Cesare Muccari, the director of Greensburg Hempfield Area Library, organized the program, which is in its fifth year.

"We want to pick something relevant to Southwestern Pennsylvania," Muccari said. "Last year we did a book on the Whiskey Rebellion and the year before, we did a book dealing with the relationship between Henry Clay Frick and Andrew Carnegie called 'Meet You in Hell.' "

The program uses about 80 copies of the book but expects about 200 participants, Muccari said. It makes coordination difficult.

Books are rotated between libraries, featuring about 20 books at four libraries at a time. The program started on May 2 at the Scottdale Public Library, wrapping up on Aug. 5 at the Murrysville Public Library.

"You have to time this perfectly," Muccari said. "There is always a huge demand."

Although she loves the book discussions, Norwin Public Library director Diana Faulk said the bus trip brings the program and topics to life.

"The trip is very popular," she said. "It makes the library the first step in learning and really exploring the region."

The program is funded with a grant through the county and Westmoreland Heritage, a countywide group dedicated to historical tourism, Faulk said.

Each year, Faulk said the program has about 15 participants, with a lot of repeat patrons.

"People are enthusiastic about it, and it is nice to see that," she said.

North Huntingdon resident Mike Mullig participated in the program last year. He said he took interest in the program because he had relatives involved in the Whiskey Rebellion.

"It was interesting to talk to other people about it," Mullig said.

Although he plans to read "Fallingwater Rising," and potentially take the bus trip, scheduling conflicts are keeping Mullig from participating in the discussion.

"I would really like to participate, because one of the things I really liked are that the facilitators were really familiar with the topics," he said. "It brings a lot more insight into the books and topics."

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