Harford County Public Library, Maryland Humanities Offer Veterans Book Program




Harford County Public Library is joining Maryland Humanities once again in offering the Veterans Book Program at the Bel Air Library starting in February.

The Veterans Book Program is a five-part series for veterans and their families to read thought-provoking writings and share their ideas and service experiences with a group of like-minded people. The program was first offered in 2015.

“It is a privilege to be able to partner with Maryland Humanities on this program again,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of the Harford County Public Library. “These programs provide opportunities for veterans and other residents to enrich their lives through the reading and discussion of literature, an important part of what the library does for the community.”

Karen Arnold, a former visiting professor at the United States Naval Academy and an independent scholar and facilitator, will moderate the series.

Each session date has its own theme and takes place on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Dinner will be provided. Books will be available at the meeting prior to the scheduled discussion. For the initial meeting and for subsequent meetings, books also will be available at the circulation desk of the Bel Air Library.

Surviving war is the topic February 15 and features “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” by Anthony Marra. On March 8 the discussion focuses on World War I and “In their Own Words; American Women in World War I” by Elizabeth Foxwell. Afghanistan is the theme on March 29, and the featured book is Ashley’s Warby Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. World War I is the topic again on April 19, this time featuring “Forty-Seven Days: How Pershing’s Army Came to Defeat the German Army in World War I” by Mitchell Yockelson. The program concludes on May 17, focusing on war’s crosscurrents and “Orhan’s Inheritance” by Aline Ohanesian.

Authors Elizabeth Foxwell and Mitchell Yockelson will speak at events hosted by Harford County Public Library in the spring. Foxwell will speak March 26 at 2 p.m. at the Jarrettsville Library. Yockelson will speak at the Bel Air Library on May 11 at 6:30 p.m.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to share views with a group who have similar experiences but not always the same perspective on them. We had such lively discussions the last time, I had to be a part of the program again,” said Professor Arnold. She is also excited about the visits to the library by two of this year’s series authors. “This gives readers the ability to see into the creation of the book and story, developing further insights,” she added.

Veterans Book Group is coordinated statewide by Maryland Humanities and presented locally in partnership with Harford County Public Library. The program was created by the Maine Humanities Council to promote understanding of the military experience and to support returning veterans. Registration for this program is limited and ends on March 7.  To register, go to hcplonline.org or contact the Bel Air Library at 410-638-3151.

Harford County Public Library operates 11 branches located throughout Harford County. The library serves more than 185,000 registered borrowers of all ages and has an annual circulation of more than 3.8 million. Harford County Public Library is committed to connecting people with information and promoting the love of reading in the community. For more information, visit hcplonline.org.

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