The Chinese Book Group has been bringing together our Chinese-language patrons since 2010 to not only discuss books, but also to create a space to build community and connections.
This group meets the third Saturday of the month to discuss Chinese-language books in Chinese. This program has successfully attracted and maintained participation, largely due to the leadership & facilitation skills of our BFOL-sponsored book group facilitator. Yang, our facilitator, has been with the group since the beginning and is an integral part of keeping group members connected plus facilitating the selection of Chinese-language books that will be of interest to our patrons.
In addition to the book discussions, the group has also invited local experts to visit the group and share their expertise. The most recent guest was Professor Xinghua Xiao. He discussed Techniques and Language of Chinese Calligraphy. He is the vice president of Oracle Calligraphy institute of Beijing and a Bellevue resident. About 43 people showed up for the planned hour and a half program but the subject was so engaging that the program extended an additional hour.
The Chinese Book group was the first World Language book group in the King County Library System. It has served as a pilot program for other KCLS libraries to emulate. There are now Chinese Book Groups at Bothell Library & Sammamish Library. We have also started a Russian Book Group at Lake Hills Library using the same model. These World Language Book Groups are serving our diverse language communities by fostering connection, sparking conversation, and strengthening community ties.