COA, Dowagiac District Library partner to launch new book club

CASS COUNTY — For many, reading is a solitary hobby. However, two local organizations are partnering to help Cass County book worms get a side of socialization with a monthly read.

The Cass County Council on Aging and the Dowagiac District Library are teaming up for a new book club launching in April. The book club will meet from 1 to 2 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month at the Cassopolis COA location, 60525 Decatur Road, and from 1 to 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Dowagiac COA location, 227 S. Front St., Dowagiac.

The first book the club will be reading is “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb.

According to COA director of community development Kelli Casey, the club will be open to community members of all ages. During each meeting, Casey said the COA would utilize space to social distance while drinking coffee and discussing the month’s book.

“Anyone who is an avid reader and would love to sit and chit chat are welcome to join,” she said. “It’s a great way to socialize safely.”

In the past, the COA has hosted book clubs at its Cassopolis location, but due to shutdowns last year related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the clubs fizzled out. Now that the COA is reopened, Casey said the organization was looking to restart a book club not only at its Cassopolis location but its Dowagiac location as well. The group put a call out of Facebook looking for a volunteer to lead the book club, and that is when the Dowagiac District Library stepped in to partner on the project and lead the club.

“We wanted to get the word out to the community, and it is always good to partner with other community organizations,” said Dowagiac District Library Director Matt Weston.” I think it’s good to collaborate.”

Weston said the library would provide needed copies of books for the club using the Melcat loaning service, which allows the Dowagiac District Library to borrow books from libraries across the state.

“We want people to know, whether they decide to join this book club or make one of their own, that we can help get them the books and the copies they need,” Weston said.

Casey believes the partnership would benefit both the library and the COA.

“[The library staff] are obviously the experts on books,” Casey said with a laugh. “I think it is just the perfect fit for us.”

After a year full of pandemic mandates that have kept the COA’s clients apart, Casey said she was excited to bring people together through the book club.

“We are just seeing people who need socialization,” she said. “They can’t wait to get out, make new friends and do something a little different. They just miss their old habits, and we just kind of think this is the perfect thing to begin small in small groups and get a little socialization.”

For more information or to enroll in the book club, call the Cass County COA at (269) 445-8110.

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