Library manager helps BAYarts gets bookish this August

Bay Village Libary branch manager Jessica Breslin (seated, second from right) with the BAYarts Book Club. Breslin will lead a Storytellers session on July 29.

Bay Village Library branch manager Jessica Breslin has been busy at BAYarts. She hosts the monthly book club at the Fuller House, and she will also be the guest speaker for an upcoming BAYarts Storytellers session. In addition to her many work responsibilities, Jessica has also been fielding questions about the exciting new library construction. All this, and the self-described "backyard bookworm" reckons she manages to read at least one new work per week. Despite her busy summer, she welcomed the chance to answer a few questions. First, we delve into the book club...

Not all book clubs thrive, but the one at BAYarts has had success since its inception in June 2015. It has provided what Breslin says has been "two years of dynamic discussions," and has enjoyed a diverse group of loyal readers that give life to the club. So, what's the magic formula? "I believe the success is its overall inviting nature," explains Breslin. "The group members are open minded, very welcoming to new folks and the gorgeous setting of BAYarts truly encourages self-expression."

Breslin continued: "I try to select titles from various genres to continue to mix it up for our members and increase interest. My favorite aspect of facilitating the group is the wide variety of life experiences and knowledge the group members bring to the discussion and their willingness to share them with us. Members know that they have a chance for their voice to be heard in a non-judgmental setting and I think they enjoy connecting with one another through the literature we read. I know I do!"

The club is open to anyone, and the books are available on the campus and at the library. They look forward to hosting author D.M. Pulley on Friday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m. Winning the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Grand Prize launched Pulley's career as a published author.

"Ms. Pulley's work as a structural engineer in Cleveland, Ohio, inspired her debut novel, 'The Dead Key.' During a survey of an abandoned building, she stumbled into a basement vault rumored to contain hundreds of unclaimed safe deposit boxes. The mystery behind the vault haunted her for years, until she put down her calculator and started writing. The unexplained disappearance of a family member inspired her second novel, 'The Buried Book.'"

You can register for this event with the library at 440-871-6392 or online at cuyahogalibrary.org.

Also exciting is that on Saturday, July 29, at 10:30 a.m., the engaging Breslin will be the speaker for the next Storytellers Series at BAYarts. She will be talking about great new summer books, stand-out selections the book club favored, and also some updates on the new library.

In terms of some summertime books deserving of a spotlight, she has several selections.

"I am currently reading an intriguing memoir, 'You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me' by Sherman Alexie, which recounts his somewhat tumultuous relationship with his mother growing up on a Native American reservation. The American Library Association’s newly established Book Club Central selected 'No One is Coming to Save Us' by Stephanie Powell Watts for its inaugural selection and I am currently reading that as well. It is a compelling, lyrically written debut family saga that is both powerful and timely. I would also suggest 'Lincoln in the Bardo' by George Saunders, which explores President Lincoln's grief over the loss of his son and is our October discussion pick."   

Of course, reading doesn't always have to be heavy. "For a lighter summer read, 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman would be a great choice – a quirky character and touching storyline that will delight readers."

Naturally, Bay Village residents are eager for news of the new library. "We are excited about the opportunity to enhance public library service here in Bay Village with a new facility," Breslin said. The Cuyahoga County Public Library continually garners a five-star rating in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, which is no small feat. Some question the reasons for creating a new library space, and Breslin has answers. Overall improvements are the driving force of the change. "By constructing a library branch that is better aligned with the needs of the community we can increase customer convenience, better integrate technology, provide additional free community gathering spaces, and enhance our offerings of interactive learning opportunities for residents of all ages."

Jessica Stockdale

Jessica Stockdale is the Marketing Manager at BAYarts.

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Volume 9, Issue 14, Posted 9:58 AM, 07.18.2017