Talbot County Free Library and Talbot Family Network announced a partnership for the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Book Club starting in January.
This new book club was designed for those who seek to engage in conversations that focus on Diversity, Equity, and Social Issues. The first meeting will take place on Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. via Zoom. All book club meetings will take place on the second Thursday of every month from January through May. Interested readers are encouraged to register for the first meeting at www.tcfl.org.
“The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Book Club was something that the library as well as Talbot Family Network wanted to do for almost a year now,” said Talbot County Free Library Communications Manager Christina Acosta. “This was an opportunity for the community to come together and discuss inclusion and diversity from different viewpoints and different locations. It was important for us to cover the history, present, and future.”
Community members are welcome to attend any of the sessions and will not be required to register for the whole series. For Talbot Family Network Executive Director Nancy Andrew, this book club will highlight the challenging topics to work through, with “constructive conversation.”
“Equity and diversity can be challenging topics on their own. Personal stories and reading can provide a means through which to have a constructive conversation. Hopefully, with practice, it becomes more comfortable to talk with others in our community about these issues,” said Andrew. “My hope is to learn more about the lived experience of others.”
The list of dates and books includes “House on Mango Street,” by Sandra Cisneros on January 13, 2022; “We Are Not Like Them,” by Christine Pride on February 10, 2022; “When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir,” by Patrisse Kahn-Cullors and Asha Bandele on March 10, 2022; “Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor,” by Layla F. Saad on April 14, 2022; and “A Place for Us,” by Fatima Farheen Mirza on May 12, 2022.
Selecting the titles for this book was a collaborative process that included the Talbot County Free Library Staff, Talbot Family Network, and Mid Shore Scholars College Success Manager Allyson DeMaagd, who holds a PhD in literature. They aimed to include stories with writers and characters from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
“The books we’ve chosen for this round of readings feature writers and characters who are Latinx, queer, African American, and/or Muslim, as well as people who experience mental health issues,” said DeMaagd.
DeMaagd, who most recently taught at Ball State University, continued by stating that as a teacher, she felt it was her responsibility to center the voices of marginalized writers.
“In my literature classes, my students and I discussed how privilege, implicit bias, systematic racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism help uphold the status quo. We also discussed how writers reify, question, and challenge these oppressive forces and how that can lead to real cultural change,” said DeMaagd. “I bring these same goals and spirit of collaboration to my facilitation of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Book Club in Talbot County. I look forward to sharing and learning with the community.”
For more information, visit www.tcfl.org or call (410) 822-1626.
About Talbot County Free Library
It is the mission of the Talbot County Free Library to enrich and renew the lives of the people it serves. There are two locations: The main library in Easton is located at 100 W. Dover St.; and the St. Michael branch is at 106 Fremont St. The Maryland Room in the Easton branch holds a voluminous collection of genealogical resources and historical documents. Services at both locations include the circulation of books, DVDs, and digital devices, as well as free Wi-Fi, public computers, exhibits, and programs for both children and adults. For more information, please visit www.tcfl.org. Be sure to like the library on Facebook and follow us on Instagram @Talbotcountyfreelibrary.