April Adult Book Groups

Our Adult Book Groups are a mix of in person, hybrid, and virtual programs. Please see our April 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: https://bit.ly/chescolibs-bookgroups.

Evening Book Group
Monday, April 3, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
This session will be held in person in the Burke Room at the Chester County Library.

Page Turners Book Group 
Thursday, April 13, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
This session will be a hybrid session, in person or via Zoom.

Comics Unbound Group
Monday, April 17, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
This session will be held via Zoom.

Whodunits Book Group
Wednesday, April 19, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
This session will be a hybrid session, in person or via Zoom.

Afternoon Book Group
Wednesday, April 19, 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
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.

Maker-in-Residence Selected

Megan Raab Greenholt selected for the inaugural program at the Chester County Library Center

The Chester County Library Center is pleased to announce Megan Raab Greenholt for the inaugural Maker-in-Residence program this spring. Selected through an open call conducted earlier this year, Ms. Raab Greenholt is a multi-disciplinary artist that explores printmaking, textiles, collage, painting, and sculpture. As a practicing artist and educator, discovery is integral to her practice as she uses a process-oriented approach to facilitate an intuitive response to materials as a means to encourage community engagement and wonder. Megan currently maintains an active studio practice in Elverson, PA.

We invite you to learn about natural dyes and observe Megan’s current work in progress using naturally dyed materials during open studio hours at the Exton and Henrietta Hankin Library branches that include 2 hours of hands-on maker experience (ages 6+) to create your own embroidered textile collage. Open studio hours will be held weekly beginning March 28th and run through June 28th.

In addition to her open studio hours, Megan will be conducting four (4) workshops for people ages 16+ at the Chester County Library Center and two (2) workshops designed for a parent/guardian and child (age 8+) experience. The workshops will celebrate Chester County’s Juneteenth theme, “Journeying Towards Freedom” by learning about the history of indigo in our country and its use in the creative practices of contemporary African American artists.

This program is supported by the generosity of the Friends of the Chester County Library. For more information about the CCL Friends please visit https://chescolibraries.org/about/ and click on “Friends of the Chester County Library:

To find out more or to register for the workshops, please visit www.chescolibraries.org and click on “Events”.  For additional information, please contact Mary Gazdik, Library Director at mgazdik@ccls.org.

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, March 21 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 lharshaw@ccls.org to discuss how we may best accommodate your needs.

The U.S. and the Holocaust

A Film by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick & Sara Botstein Virtual Screener & Community Conversation

On Thursday, March 9th, from 7:15-9:15 p.m., Henrietta Hankin Branch Library in partnership with PBS Books and WETA will present a reprise of the Screener and Discussion event held in November of the 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 to view selected clips from the documentary and then take part in a conversation with a panel of local experts. We are delighted to once again 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.  Plus, for this event, we have a third panelist, Sharon Sorokin.  At the end of 2022, Sharon retired from the practice of law and founded Bikabow Books, a small press publishing company. Bikabow Books’ first publication is Ziggy’s Potato, A Holocaust Story, written by Sharon Sorokin and illustrated by Helen Cann. Ziggy’s Potato is intended for ages 8 and up.

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., is 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 working on a monograph, 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 borrow a DVD of the movie through the Chester County Library System. PBS station members can view the documentary via PBS Passport as part of a full collection of Ken Burns films. 

To register for this special virtual event, please visit https://ccls.libcal.com/event/9947294.  For additional information, please contact Claire Michelle Viola, Reference Librarian at cviola@ccls.org. This event supports PA Forward Health and Civic and Social Literacies.