The partnership between the New Haven Free Public Library and the Prospect Public Library began in late March and early April of 2020 when the pandemic was a new experience for New Haven and the world at large. Wilson Branch Library Technical Assistant Arthur Volanth noticed New Haven Free Public Library was looking for new virtual programming opportunities while also noticing the first library he worked at, the Prospect Public Library, did not have any adult virtual programming occurring at the time. Arthur realized a unique opportunity existed to bring together amazing people in various parts of the state and reached out to facilitate the creation of the Joint Library Book Chat.
At the end of April 2020, the first virtual joint book chat took place where participants discussed Christina Baker Kline’s A Piece of the World. Not only were those joining these first sessions able to discuss the book, but they also had the opportunity to share new ways in which to navigate the challenges of day-to-day life in the pandemic and connect during a time when it was very difficult to do so safely in public spaces.
The book chat continues monthly with selections being made by library staff members and group attendees alike. The group discusses a variety of both adult and young adult fiction titles. Such selections include books such as Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing, Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, and August Wilson’s Fences. The group enjoys discussing works that explore the depth and complexity of the human experience. A regular attendee from New Haven noted, “The Joint Book Chat is an event I especially look forward to attending every month and I enjoy both the reading and the comradery that has developed amongst the group.”
Looking to join a group of friendly readers? Meetings typically occur virtually at 7:00 pm on the third or fourth Thursday of each month and are conveniently virtual for all to join, no matter where they are located. The Joint Book Chat is currently reading John Grisham’s Camino Island for the meeting on September 23 and the ZOOM information can be found here. For more information, reach out to Arthur at [email protected].
For more information about both virtual and in-person events happening at NHFPL, be sure to sign up for our monthly Happenings newsletter and be sure to visit our friends at the Prospect Public Library’s website for information on their great offerings as well.
Happy reading and hope to see you there!