In January 2015, the Montclair Public Library and its Foundation will launch Open Book / Open Mind, a new series of conversations with prominent authors and public figures.
Each event will be a conversation among authors, experts and the audience rather than simply a reading or lecture. Audience members will participate through Q&A and no admission will be charged. Watchung Booksellers will sell signed copies of speakers’ books at these events, and copies will be available in the store so people can read in advance.
“In this digital age, libraries provide real, physical space where people can come together and share ideas. Libraries offer learning to everyone,” says David Hinkley, Director of the Montclair Public Library.
“That’s why these events are free and open-to-the public. I want to thank the authors who have made it possible for us to keep these programs accessible to all. And special thanks go to Margot Sage-El, owner of Watchung Booksellers, who is helping the library and its foundation curate the series,” adds Hinkley.
Alison Bauer, President of the Montclair Public Library Foundation Board, says, “We hope this series further expands our role as a creative commons for the community.”
At the launch on Friday, January 9, 7 pm – 8:15 pm, hometown novelists Matthew Thomas and Christina Baker Kline, both of whom have garnered glowing reviews and huge sales for their most recent novels, will interview each other about their books and the craft of writing realistic fiction. The evening will open with brief readings.
“I’m honored to be part of launching this series in my adopted hometown. Montclair is a community chock-full of writers, editors, and great readers, and this series is an opportunity for that community to come together every so often in a formal way. I’m glad to support the library, because libraries have been an important resource for me from my childhood into my adult life. I wrote a good portion of my book in the libraries of New York City, and I did a good deal of the research for it in them. Libraries are where the education of busy adults continues. That continuing education is a sacred part of the mission of libraries, and the Montclair Public Library does an exceptional job of fulfilling that aspect of their mission,” says Thomas.
Baker Kline agrees. “Montclair Public Library is a tremendous resource in a community filled with avid readers and writers. I’m thrilled to take part in the launch of this new program at the library featuring local authors, of whom there are so many — and I look forward to returning as an audience member for future programs. We’re so lucky to live here, in this place where the arts are celebrated! How exciting to have a local library that takes advantage of all that this community has to offer.”
The Montclair Public Library is planning several other events for the 2015 Open Book / Open Mind season.
Jennifer Dorr, co-chair of the Montclair Public Library Foundation’s Open-Book / Open Mind committee, says: “We think of this as a series that belongs to the town and we want to partner with as many organizations as possible.”
Since seating will be limited, the public is advised to ensure admission by registering in advance. Call the Main Library’s reference desk at 973-744-0500, ext. 2235 or register online here.