One of the best things about reading is talking about those books with other people. I love sharing the excitement I feel about a hidden gem or a favorite author’s newest release, and my to-be-read list is pages long with recommendations from patrons.

As the librarian who develops most of the adult collection at Roseburg Public Library, I have a vested interest in engaging the community with books, so I read. A lot. What I have struggled with is how to expand the library’s reach through new platforms because my goal is to have a well-loved collection (read: books checked out so often they fall apart).

Fortunately, Blue Zones Project-Umpqua stepped in at just the right time with its Friends at Five Virtual Book Club on Facebook Live. At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the library team will overwhelm viewers with a long list of the best books we have read recently.

We will focus on books published this year and include hot titles coming out this summer. The key is we give all of them our seal of approval.

A list of the books we will cover will be posted on the library website,, on Tuesday. That will provide a preview and may be helpful for note taking. The library website also will include a link to the event.

The program will focus on one book at a time with library staff briefly summarizing the plot while sharing a picture of the book cover. Over two to three minutes, we will talk about appeal factors such as richly drawn characters or highly developed sense of place, and we may compare the author’s style to well-known writers.

We absolutely will not spoil any ending.

Essentially, the event will be a live version of the brief reviews I share in this column. What will be added is a visual of our enthusiasm for some of this year’s great books.

I plan to talk about the books that made me cry and laugh out loud, one that felt as though I was getting together with an old friend and one that has me reconsidering whether to ever hike again.

I am glad my colleagues are excited to participate because they will add variety to the presentation with youth titles and graphic novels. After 45 minutes, I hope you have a list of books you will consider checking out from the library.

Friends of the Library Book Sale CanceledThe Friends of the Roseburg Public Library has canceled the Summer Book Sale scheduled for June 4-6 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The next scheduled book sale is Sept. 3-5.

Because volunteers are unable to work at the library, we ask that all book and magazine donations be held until the library reopens. Visit the Friends website at for more information.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library.

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