Greenwood Library Finds Humor in Southside Reads

When times get tough, people find different ways of handling certain situations. Some choose to fake it until they make it while others choose to laugh through the pain. At Greenwood Library, faculty and community readers have chosen reading as a method for the latter.

During the month of April, Greenwood Library continues Southside Reads with a theme of humorous books for community members to read and discuss about.

Sarah Reynolds, a Research Services Librarian at Greenwood Library, stated, “We have a committee made up of librarians, but also Longwood faculty and staff that brainstorm different ideas. We ended up with humor in April because of April Fool’s Day, and since humor has a wide variety [to choose from], people could find different books for that.”

Southside Reads is an ongoing event where people in the Longwood and Farmville community are encouraged to find books revolving around a variety of themes. Southside Reads also functions as an informal reading challenge for community members, so there is no specific book that must be read.

April’s monthly theme of Humor varies from the different themes chosen in previous months this year. Some of the other themes from previous months include Relationships in February and Book to Screen in March.

Since the pandemic limits the quality and quantity of socialization nowadays, informal events like Southside Reads often serve to boost morale on campus and in the Farmville community.

Natalie Browning, who also works as a Research Librarian, mentioned, “One of our main goals is to build community, to have people come together for the same theme. [Southside Reads helps] to start the conversation, and it’s not just a challenge for Longwood. It involves the Farmville community, to bridge the divide between the college and the town.”

Greenwood Library holds book discussions on the last Thursday of each month to allow people to talk about their chosen readings as a community. Thus far, members of Longwood faculty and staff as well as Farmville community members have participated in these monthly discussions.

This month’s discussion will be held on next Thursday April 29th at 6PM at least through October on Zoom.

In addition, both Reynolds and Browning mentioned how they would like for students to become more involved with this event. At the moment, they are in the process of starting up plans for more programming for Southside Reads, but there is no further concrete information about this at this time.

For those interested in a more traditional book club setting, the public library in Farmville has a book club that ties in with the Southside Reads themes, and the two clubs help each other out as individual groups.

With the pandemic in mind, finding humor in day-to-day life offers relief to people more than they know.

Reynolds also said, “I think reading can be a way to escape from whatever you’re going through, and if reading something light and funny can help you, if not feel better, then avoid feeling that way for a little while. We’re at this time where we’ve been living in the pandemic for over a year... so having a month where that makes you laugh out loud, even if it’s not a long term event, it can at least help a little bit.”

Next month’s reading theme for May will be Environment.

Anyone wishing to participate in this event can post about the books they are reading on social media and use the hashtag #southsidereads2021. For more information on Southside Reads, please contact a member of the Greenwood Library staff.

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