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Friends of the Library to sponsor new book club

Nobles County Library staff members (from left) Nancy Flynn, Jackie Van Horsen and Laurie Ebbers display mugs and insulated bags that are premium gifts that will be offered to adults who read 12 or more books in the Nobles County Library's adult winter reading program, which runs from Jan. 1-March 31 (Brian Korthals/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON — A new book club, sponsored by the Nobles County Library’s Friends of the Library group, will debut in January.

Four meetings are scheduled for 2014 — in January, April, July and October — and the enthusiastic readers who are spearheading the effort anticipate lively discussions.

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“There are other book clubs that exist in Worthington, but some people who would like to be in them may not have found a way to hook up,” said Ellen Copperud, a Friends of the Library member and book club committee participant.

“Or, if you’re new to the community, this will be a nice way to meet people with common interests — or if you’re already in a book club, this one will only meet four times a year, so it’s not an overwhelming commitment.

“Everyone is invited to be involved — membership in the Friends of the Library is not a prerequisite, nor is it necessary to attend every book club meeting,” she added.

Copperud and fellow committee members Judi Hoevet, Karen Magyar, Julie Nystrom and Cheryl Avenel-Navara made it their mission to choose books from various genres, and the first year of titles is already determined.

“Kill Artist” by popular mystery author Daniel Silva is the selection for the inaugural meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 27 in the basement of the Nobles County Library.

“We wanted to appeal to as many people as possible, and we may expand the number of meetings in future years if the first year goes well,” Copperud said. “A lot of libraries in other communities are sponsoring book clubs, so we’re just following a trend.”

Different volunteer leaders will guide the discussion at the book club meetings, which are initially scheduled to last an hour, and extra copies of each book club choice will be available for check-out at the Nobles County Library.

Subsequent 2014 book club selections are “The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman (for April 28), “Heat Wave” by Richard Castle (for July 28) and “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand (for Oct. 27).

The book club is an outgrowth of the rejuvenated Friends of the Library organization, which has added members and energy over the past two years, according to its current chair, Gretchen O’Donnell.

“We aimed to involve more people, and this is a great way to be active with the library, and with a community organization, in a pretty low-key, enjoyable manner,” said O’Donnell. “We have money to spend on books, and that’s fun, especially for people who love and value books.”

The local Friends of the Library gives more than $10,000 annually to the Nobles County Library, whether for program support or for books.

“The Friends of the Library has really provided the funds for the bulk of the children’s programming at the Nobles County Library in past years, and we also pay for books that may be special requests,” explained O’Donnell, noting the group meets the second Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m.

Also, the Friends of the Library has paid for the promotional items the Nobles County Library offers each year for its adult winter reading program, which is due to start Jan.1 (and is unrelated to the new book club).

“The kids have fun in the summer, but this winter program is geared for adults,” said library staff member Myra Palmer. The 2014 program theme is “Escape with a Good Read.”

Beginning Jan. 1 and ending March 31, readers ages 16 and older can keep track of the books they read, and upon reaching a total of 12 books, they may choose either a mug or an insulated bag as a premium.

“The Friends of the Library group is looking for ways to get its name better known, and as we are obviously all about books and reading, the book club — and providing promotional gifts for the winter reading program, as well as supporting the kids’ summer library programs — seems like an ideal way to mesh those goals,” O’Donnell said.

Concurred Copperud, “The book club will be a community builder of sorts, and is a new means of connecting with other people who are already using the library regularly and who enjoy reading.

“This will provide another outlet for discussion and camaraderie.”

For more information about the new Friends of the Library book club, Friends of the Library meetings/membership, or the winter adult reading program, contact the Nobles County Library at 507-295-5340, or visit the Nobles County Library at 407 12th St., Worthington (or the Adrian branch at 214 Maine Ave., Adrian). The first book club meeting will take place Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the basement of the Nobles County Library, with discussion of “Kill Artist” by Daniel Silva.