Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Hosts First Book Club Gathering

On a wintery Wednesday, the Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (TLBPH) held its first-ever book club! It was designed specifically for patrons of the TLBPH, who were invited to participate in person or via the Tennessee State Library and Archives’ toll-free conference call line.

(The book club program is open to anyone who wants to attend in person, but only LBPH patrons can use the call-in option.)

On the designated day last month, a group of 15 staff members and patrons participated in a lively discussion of Harper Lee’s recently-discovered book, Go Set a Watchman.

The discussion was led by Susan Gordon, an avid reader and archivist in the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Participants discussed a variety of topics, including Harper Lee’s uses of humor to relieve tension in her books. The discussion also explored whether the Atticus Finch character, heroically portrayed in Harper Lee’s first book, To Kill a Mockingbird, was actually a racist. There was no consensus on the topic.

The group also discussed how both books explored change—and resistance to it, which seemed relevant to some of the race-related issues of modern times.

During a discussion about the theme of duty, the group talked about whether the character Scout should return to her hometown of Maycomb to care for her father, Atticus Finch, and whether Finch was a better father or lawyer.

TLBPH hopes to have book club discussions four times per year. The next one is scheduled for sometime in April. For more information, contact Ruth Hemphill, TLBPH's outreach librarian at (615) 741-3917 or ruth.hemphill@tn.gov.

TLBPH is a section of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is a division of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. For more information on the TLBPH, visit: http://sos.tn.gov/products/tsla/library-blind-and-physically-handicapped.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

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