Saturday, June 23, 2018

North Avondale Library Chapter Chatters Book Club—Seven Years and Going Strong

By Roy L. Williams, Public Relations Director at Birmingham Public Library

North Avondale branch manager Saundra Ross (seated, second from left) and members
of the Chapter Chatters Book Club

Since February 2011, the North Avondale Branch Library's Chapter Chatters Book Club has been a monthly gathering place for adults in the Birmingham area who share a passion for reading.

The book club meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month for lunch and a lively discussion of African American-themed books recommended by its members, or chosen from best-seller lists and talk shows. Birmingham Public Library's Summer Learning adult programming includes two North Avondale Chapter Chatters meetings that are open to the public: Wednesday, June 27, and Wednesday, July 25.

The July program will be truly unique: a book discussion incorporating a hands-on painting experience based on the book and led by Birmingham artist Cherie Hunt. Participants will leave with their own hand-painted masterpiece. The class is limited to 20 adults; advance registration is required by calling 205-592-2082.

The Chapter Chatters Book Club’s members range in age from the 40s to early 80s, and come from cities across metro Birmingham—McCalla, Bessemer, Center Point, Forestdale, and Hueytown. Several Birmingham communities are represented, including Penfield Park, Bush Hills, downtown Birmingham, Huffman, Kingston, Powderly, and North Avondale.

Marie Nash leads a discussion of The Youngest Marcher
by Cynthia Levinson at an April 2017 Children's Picture
Book Club meeting
In addition to discussing books, Chapter Chatters also occasionally holds talks with authors. During the May 2018 meeting, members spoke with Cydney Rax about her new book A Sister’s Secret. Best-selling Birmingham author Vanessa Davis Griggs has visited the club, and author Sherelle Green has participated via conference call and sent a gift bag of new book titles to be used as prizes. Tayari Jones, Hurston-Wright Legacy Award winner, was so impressed that she mailed autographed book plates and book marks for each club member. Saundra Ross, library branch manager, said she looks forward to listening to the different viewpoints and the personal stories book club members share each month.

Marie Nash, library assistant, wanted to start a book club for children, so she collaborated with Ross to develop the Children's Picture Book Club. In November, the North Avondale Library began hosting the Children's Picture Book Club where a group of neighborhood students meet every second Wednesday after school. They discuss books based on the Six Pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. Their first book was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

"The children's book club is a great way to encourage group reading and to get children to practice their analytical skills," Ross said. "I'm most proud when they read and then express to me what they've learned and how this new knowledge relates to them personally."

1 comment:

c-ing said...

I see a couple of people I know in Chapter Chatters.😀

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