December Adult Book Groups

Our Adult Book Groups are a mix of in person, hybrid, and virtual programs. Please see our December titles and dates below. The online groups are being held via Zoom. We are requiring registration for the book groups in order to send out the Zoom meeting information, if applicable. Click on the date below to register. Information on our adult book groups can also be found on our website:

Evening Book Group
Monday, December 5, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library.

Page Turners Book Group 
Thursday, December 8, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
This session will be a hybrid session, in person or via Zoom.

Comics Unbound Group
Monday, December 19, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Best of Year Discussion: We will share our top comics of the year.
This session will be held via Zoom.

Whodunits Book Group
Wednesday, December 21, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
This session will be a hybrid session, in person or via Zoom.

Afternoon Book Group
Wednesday, December 21, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library.

Registration is required for all book groups. Registration will close at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled start time of the book group. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants 2 hours before the book group starts.  Make sure to check the email address you registered with to receive the link.  You do not need a Zoom account to attend the virtual book group.

These programs support the PA Forward Civic and Social Literacy Initiative.

DEAFinitely Magic: The Hilarious Magic of Sam Sandler at Henrietta Hankin Library

Join us for a magical evening with Sam Sandler, America’s Premier Deaf Illusionist. This program is for everyone who loves magic and is recommended for ages 4 and above.

If a child under eleven (11) attends a program independently, a parent or caregiver must remain in the building as per library policy.

Please register for this program on Tuesday, November 22, 6 – 7 pm

Registration is required for EACH PERSON attending (child, teen, or adult). Registration will close two hours before the event’s scheduled start time. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Henrietta Hankin Branch Library.

CCLS/CCL Board Meeting

The Board of Trustees of the Chester County Library System/Chester County Library are hosting their monthly board meeting as a hybrid offering. If you have always wanted to attend a meeting but haven’t had the time, this is your opportunity. Please click on this link at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 15 to join the Chester County Library System Board Meeting virtually; or attend in person at the Chester County Library, Exton, PA. The Chester County Library Board Meeting will immediately follow. Find the Chester County Library Board Packet here.

If you are a person with a disability and wish to attend this meeting and require an auxiliary aid, service, or other accommodation to observe or participate in the proceedings, please call Chester County Library’s Administration Office at 610-344-5600 or email to discuss how we may best accommodate your needs.

Multimedia New Releases – November


The U.S. and the Holocaust

Screener & Discussion at Henrietta Hankin Branch Library

(CHESTER SPRINGS, PA)—On Monday, November 14th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Henrietta Hankin Branch Library is honored to continue its partnership with PBS Books and WETA in presenting a Screener and Discussion of the recently aired PBS documentary The U.S. and the Holocaust, a film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick & Sarah Botstein. This 3-part documentary explores America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history.  Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence, and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape, and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.

 Join us as we view selected clips from the documentary and then take part in a conversation with a panel of local experts. We are delighted to have panelists Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Ph.D., and Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D., to lead us in an insightful conversation on core themes raised in the film, such as immigration policy, racism, isolationism, discrimination, and more.

Rabbi Sussman currently serves as the Rabbi Emeritus of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, PA after serving as senior rabbi from 2001-2022.  Rabbi Sussman, a specialist in American Jewish history, has written several books and numerous articles on the American Jewish experience.  Currently, he is working on a television documentary on the history of the Philadelphia Jewish community with History Making Productions.  He is also editing a collection of his sermons and essays, “Portrait of an America Rabbi,” and serving as Scholar in Residence at Philadelphia’s Holocaust Awareness Museum (HAMEC).

Jonathan C. Friedman, Ph.D., currently serves as a Professor of History, and Director of Graduate Holocaust and Genocide Studies at West Chester University.  Dr. Friedman’s main areas of specialization are modern European, modern German, and modern Jewish history, although since finishing his Ph.D. he has broadened his areas of specialization to include LGBT history and the history of music and film.  Dr. Friedman has published numerous books on subjects ranging from the Holocaust to gay and Jewish performances. He is currently working on a monograph entitled Haunted Laughter: Comedic Representations of Adolf Hitler, The Third Reich, and the Holocaust in Film and Television.

Anyone who would like to view the full documentary in advance of the event may stream it for free on WHYY PBS platforms, including and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsun Smart TV, Chromecast, and VIZIO.  PBS station members can view the documentary via PBS Passport as part of a full collection of Ken Burns films.  You can also borrow a DVD of the movie through the Chester County Library System.

This Screener and Discussion program will take place virtually via Zoom.  To register, please visit This event supports PA Forward Health and Civic and Social Literacies.

The mission of the Chester County and Henrietta Hankin Branch Libraries is to provide informational, educational, and cultural services to the residents of Chester County so that they may be lifelong learners.   The Henrietta Hankin Branch Library is located at 215 Windgate Drive, Chester Springs, PA.  For hours or more information, visit our website at

Adult Mental Health Forum at Chester County Library

Representative Kristine Howard and the Chester County Library will co-host a second Adult Mental Health Forum this year on Wednesday, November 16 from 5-7 p.m. in the library’s Struble Room. Visitors can connect with resources from several local agencies and listen to local experts talk about the current condition of mental health in Chester County. Registration is not required.

 Speaker presentations at the fair will include:

  • a representative from the Chester County Department of Mental Health
  • a representative from the Chester County Department of Intellectual Disabilities
  • a representative from the West Chester University Community Mental Health Clinic
  • Nikki Weigand, NAMI Keystone’s Advocacy Director

The mental health fairs grew out of a need to connect constituents with existing resources. With growing mental health crises, it has become more important than ever to ensure no one goes without the care they need.

While much of Representative Howard’s legislative work has focused on preventing mental and behavioral health care worker shortages – the SWEET Program (HB 1926) and the BWELL Program (HB 2091), for example – she has heard from many constituents who were simply unaware of the resources already available. In particular, many parents are looking for assistance with their adult children.

As an accessible community hub and advocate of circulating health literacy within the community, the Chester County Library is also committed to helping connect the community with local mental health resources available to them. The Chester County Library is hoping to extend a lifeline to its neighbors and also demonstrate that they are an inclusive resource for all community needs. This event will give the community at large an opportunity to have open conversations without judgment and thereby also help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. Find more information here or contact the Chester County Library Reference Desk at 610-344-5957.