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GPL Chronicle: Building community through stories

Stories are powerful. And we all contain multitudes of them. These can be stories from our childhood, our ancestors or, more broadly, from our country or our culture. They can be mundane and profound. Although stories can be very individual, forming everyone’s unique identity, the fact that everyone has stories makes it a universal human custom. We connect with others when we share our stories, which leads us to a deeper understanding and understanding of ourselves and others.

Novels are the quintessence of human stories. The authors create them from the well of their imagination and life experiences. And readers read a novel, soaking up the author’s story, connecting with the characters, and seeing themselves better for the experience.

Almost as important, a reader can then pass the story on to other people in their life, forming a mini community centered around the story. Talking about the same story connects people. That’s the goal of Greenwood Reads next month at the Greenwood Public Library.

For adults, while supplies last, the library will be giving away copies of The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams to cardholders who register for a Greenwood Reads event. Multiple copies are also available at checkout. The Playlist is a great story about how a sense of community can arise from unlikely individuals. It runs the gamut of feelings from loneliness, grief, and despair to compassion, kindness, and benevolence. The characters, from a wide variety of backgrounds, make connections through a mysterious list of books that appears just when someone is in need.

Young library users can take part in Anna James’ Greenwood Reads with The Bookwanders, an adventurous tale about the power of reading. Teenagers will have the opportunity to enjoy and connect with My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows, a hilarious yet poignant historical fantasy novel.

We hope you can join us in sharing these stories, potentially learning more about yourself and your community.

Susan Jerger is the Adult Services Librarian at the Greenwood Public Library. GPL staff members write this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send feedback to [email protected]