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Like-minded

Fox Run residents, Novi library share love of the written word

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August 28th, 2017
Resident Nancy Forsberg is one of the organizers of Fox Run’s book clubs, which receive books for all community members from the Novi Public Library.

Resident Nancy Forsberg is one of the organizers of Fox Run’s book clubs, which receive books for all community members from the Novi Public Library. 

 

The active and intellectually engaged retirees who live at Fox Run are as hungry as ever for knowledge. Fortunately, the community has a longstanding partnership with the Novi, Mich., public library, which is a great benefit for several of the Erickson Living community’s resident-run clubs. 

About ten years ago, the library offered a book club to Fox Run community members. The book club became so popular that the group split into four separate clubs that now meet monthly at Fox Run to discuss both fiction and nonfiction books. 

The Novi library provides enough copies of each book, including large-print and audio books as needed, for the book clubs each month. At each meeting, members can drop off the book they just finished reading and pick up a copy of the book for the next month’s discussion. 

‘[The library is] just absolutely wonderful in supporting our book club,” says Nancy March.

Outreach events

Nancy Forsberg, one of the clubs’ organizers, says members engage in lively and meaningful discussions. They take turns facilitating the discussions, using questions they receive with the books. 

“Depending on how many people like the book, they might have different points of view,” Nancy says. “By the time the discussion is over, we have learned a lot more about the book. Some people might have experiences that would apply to the books, and they tell us about those.”

One of the other ways the library partners with Fox Run is to put on the annual Authors LIVE event, featuring popular Michigan writers. More than a hundred attendees, both residents and people from the surrounding Novi community, typically come to the events. 

After attendees enjoy a lunch prepared by Fox Run’s dining staff, three local authors speak and then take questions from the audience. After the discussion, the authors’ books are for sale on site. 

Previous authors who have spoken at Authors LIVE events include Allison Leotta, a former federal prosecutor who has written thrillers such as Speak of the Devil, Law of Attraction, and The Last Good Girl; Bonnie Virag, the award-winning author of The Stovepipe, a memoir that chronicles her turbulent childhood spent in foster homes; and Peter Leonard, a Michigan crime novelist, who wrote Unknown Remains, Eyes Closed Tight, and All He Saw Was the Girl.

“The venue at Fox Run is perfect for this type of community outreach, and the library enjoys the opportunity to go to the readers instead of always wanting readers to come to the library,” says Julie Farkas, director of the Novi Public Library. “One of the things I am most proud of is the relationship I have with the residents of Fox Run. They are an amazing group of people who care deeply about the importance of reading and connecting with their friends.”

Staff from the Novi library visit Fox Run to assist residents in signing up for library cards. They also do a regular program to inform them about all the services offered at the library. 

Perfect partnership

In addition to the library programs on site at Fox Run, community members can also easily visit the Novi library because the Fox Run transportation department runs shuttles there twice a month. One of those shuttles coincides with the library’s Thursday Morning Music session, and attendees often stay after the concerts to enjoy lunch and beverages at the library’s Read-a-Latte Café. 

In addition to the four resident-run book clubs, the library coordinates a monthly mystery book club at Fox Run.

“Fox Run residents love to plan—just like librarians,” says Farkas. “I can’t think of a better partner for the library.”

Because of the strong relationship between the Novi Public Library and Fox Run, residents can easily use the library for their own pursuits. 

For instance, Nancy March is one of the organizers of a resident-run club called Your Own University, which organizes a variety of educational events and helps select writers for the Authors LIVE events. 

Last year, Nancy and fellow neighbor Marianne Balding put together a three-part series of events about the history of Novi and nearby Walled Lake. Nancy says the library was instrumental in their research for that series.

“They cooperate with us in all ways,” she says.

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