In the fall of 2001, representatives of Michigan State University and the City of East Lansing explored the feasibility of establishing a community-wide reading program that would bring students and community members together in a common experience; the reading of a good book. In the fall of 2002 the first OBOC program, featuring Ray Bradbury’s science-fiction masterpiece “Fahrenheit 451,”demonstrated broad community support.

The OBOC program, now a much-anticipated annual event, enjoys partnerships with campus units and groups representing students and faculty and the East Lansing Public Library, the East Lansing Public Schools and local organizations and businesses.

The OBOC program is guided by a Planning Committee comprised of representatives from the City of East Lansing, Michigan State University and the community at large. The program is also assisted by on- and off-campus volunteers in the book selection process and many events.