Birmingham Public Library
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Birmingham, Alabama 35203
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PRESS RELEASE
For immediate release Wednesday, March 23, 2016
CONTACT: Roy L. Williams, Director of Public Relations    
Birmingham Public Library                                               
Phone: (205) 226-3746 cell (205) 568-0067                                                        
E-mail: rlwilliams@bham.lib.al.us    

 North Avondale Branch Library Chapter Chatters book club celebrates fifth anniversary
 
BIRMINGHAM, AL—Julia Horne, a breast cancer survivor, looks forward to attending the monthly meetings of the North Avondale Branch Library Chapter Chatters Book Club.
 
On February 23, 2011, the book club held its first meeting chatting about “The Help,” and has continued gathering monthly at North Avondale Branch, 501 43rd St. North, discussing African American themed books recommended by its members or chosen from best-seller lists and talk shows.  
 
Lillie Cole, Kingston Neighborhood Association president and a Chapter Chatters member who at age 79 is the club’s mother figure, says the club is “like family,” celebrating birthdays and expressing condolences when members lose loved ones.  “We have members from all over. We are a true melting pot of Birmingham,” she said.
 
Overall, the members have enjoyed making new friends over the past five years. Through these meetings, friendships have been developed and life experiences have been shared all while discussing a variety of literature by talented, new, and exciting authors. Ellarine Stroud enjoys the club so much that she changes her work schedule to attend monthly meetings.
 
The club’s members are a feisty bunch ranging in age from the early 40s to 79. The members who gather monthly at North Avondale Branch Library 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.
 
Members of The North Avondale Library Chapter Chatterers are: Omelia Bailey, Georgia M. Blair, Lillie Cole, Gwendolyn B. Welch, Claudia Marks, Julia Horne, LaTonya Reynolds Cox, Ellarine Stroud, Linda D. Cox, Dora U. Sims, Bettie Griggs, Veronica S. Gossom, Lucretia Quinn, and Saundra Ross, manager of the North Avondale Branch. They include retirees and working members.
 
In addition to discussing books, North Avondale Chapter Chatters also occasionally holds talks with authors. 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.  
 
Chapter Chatters members Linda Cox, Claudia Marks, LaTonya Reynolds-Cox and Lucretia Quinn said belonging to the club has been a blessing.  “We pray together, laugh, cry and support each other,” they all agreed.
 
Saundra Ross, library branch manager, said she looks forward to hearing the lively discussion at the monthly adult Chapter Chatters Book Club. Marie Nash, the 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.” 
 
The North Avondale Library Chapter Chatters Book Club will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, March 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Children's Picture Book Club will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, April 13, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. If interested in attending, call Saundra Ross at the library at (205) 592-2082.
 
Chapter Chatters is among at least seven book clubs that meet monthly in five of BPL’s 19 library branches, including two each at both North Avondale Branch and Springville Road Regional Library.
 
Book clubs in the Birmingham Public Library System (BPL)
 
NORTH AVONDALE BRANCH LIBRARY
 
The North Avondale Library Chapter Chatters Book Club meets the last Wednesday each month at 10:30 am (except November & December). The group discusses both fiction and nonfiction titles. For more information, contact Saundra Ross at 205-592-2082 or sross@bham.lib.al.us.

The Children's Picture Book Club, North Avondale Branch Library, meets the second Wednesday each month at 3:30 p.m. It is comprised of school-age children. The first meeting was held in November 2015. The club’s first book: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. For more information, contact Saundra Ross at 205-592-2082 or sross@bham.lib.al.us.

POWDERLY BRANCH LIBRARY
 
The Powderly Library Maturing Minds Book Club meets the third Friday each month at 10am. The group enjoys reading both fiction and nonfiction titles. For information, contact Loretta Bitten at 205-925-6178 or lbitten@bham.lib.al.us.
 
SMITHFIELD BRANCH LIBRARY
 
Library Learning Adventures meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 10am. The group discusses both fiction and nonfiction titles. For more information, contact Yolanda Hardy at 205-324-8428 or yhardy@bham.lib.al.us.
 
SPRINGVILLE ROAD REGIONAL LIBRARY
 
The Afterthoughts meet the third Tuesday of each month at 2pm for a discussion of selected nonfiction work. For titles, contact Kelly at kslaney@bham.lib.al.us or 205-226-4083.
 
The Reading Roadies meet at 6:30 on the third Monday of each month. We read and discuss fiction titles chosen by the group and welcome all adult and young adult readers. For more information, please contact Kelly Laney at 205-226-4083 or kslaney@bham.lib.al.us.
 
WYLAM BRANCH LIBRARY 
 
Wylam Book Group meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 11am. Popular fiction and nonfiction books are read and discussed. For more information, contact Jean Shanks at jshanks@bham.lib.al.us or 205-785-0349.
 
 FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BPL
For additional information about the programs and services of the Birmingham Public Library, visit our website at www.bplonline.org and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BPL. The mission of Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for life-long learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment. This system—with 19 locations and serving the community for 129 years—is one of the largest library systems in the southeast.
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