jefferson county reads

Several Jefferson County libraries are teaming up to start a book club program.

First up for the Jefferson County Reads is the classic Agatha Christie mystery, “And Then There Were None.”

The Jefferson County Library, Jefferson College Library, Crystal City Public Library, De Soto Public Library and Festus Public Library, as well as libraries at area high schools, are sponsoring the program, which encourages countians to read the book and take part in a discussion group at one of the participating libraries.

“It’s the first time we’ve tried something like this,” said Pam Withrow, Jefferson County Library’s assistant director for library services. “This is a community read. They’re popular all over the country.”

There is no cost to participate, but participants must read the book.

“You can purchase the book or check out a copy from a library, then read it,” Withrow said.

“Anyone can participate if they’ve read the book,” she said. “The discussion groups are centered around the book.”

Discussion groups will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at the Jefferson County Library Windsor Branch, 7479 Metropolitan Blvd., in Barnhart; at noon Friday, April 21, at the Jefferson College Library, 1000 Viking Drive, in Hillsboro; at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Jefferson County Library Arnold Branch, 1701 Missouri State Road; at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, at the Jefferson County Library Northwest Branch, 5680 Hwy. PP, in High Ridge; and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, at the Festus Public Library, 400 W. Main St., in Festus.

“They can find a session close to their homes or that meets at times convenient to them,” Withrow said. “There will be a librarian at each session at each library to lead the discussions.”

Registration is encouraged but not required, Withrow said, and registration may be completed through the participating libraries.

Withrow said she and the other librarians hope the program is popular among countians. If so, other books will be assigned and discussed.

“It could be a different genre or a newer book,” she said. “We chose to do a classic this time.”

“We’re hoping high school students will participate, as well,” Withrow said.

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“If they visit one of the (participating) libraries, they can get flyers on (Jefferson County Reads),” Withrow said.