Riverhead library’s new book club has culture

02/07/2014 10:00 AM |
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead Free Library reference coordinator Elva Zeichner (right) and reference librarian Joyce Rienzo suggested novels and non-fiction by Latin American authors at lunch session Friday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Riverhead Free Library reference coordinator Elva Zeichner (right) and reference librarian Joyce Rienzo suggested novels and non-fiction by Latin American authors at lunch session Friday.

When Riverhead Free Library’s new director Joy Rankin joined the staff in August, her hope was to extend programs beyond the library’s walls and out into the community.

And on Friday afternoon, she kicked off the newest chapter of a program to help meet that goal.

About a dozen people gathered at the Express Deli Café on Osborne Avenue for the kickoff of the library’s latest installment of its Booked for Lunch program, which for the first time will focus entirely on Latin American literature.

“It encourages people that normally might not pick up books about other cultures,” Ms. Rankin said. “Hopefully it will teach the community the opinions and thoughts of other cultures.”

The Booked for Lunch program was previously only held during the summer months at the library, but has taken a new direction under Ms. Rankin’s supervision. In addition to focusing on literature of different cultures, the group will also meet at various local establishments. The locations will change to reflect the author or the content of the book of discussion, she said.

“A great way to introduce the community [to new cultures] is to put them in the right environment,” Ms. Rankin said.

The program highlights 20 books from various Latin American authors, one being political thriller “Tango for a Torturer” by Daniel Chavarría — a personal favorite of reference coordinator Elva Zeichner, who called the new format of Booked for Lunch “a brand new experience” and learning opportunity.

Of “Tango for a Torturer,” she said, “This is a fun book. I’m not kidding. It has a dark underside.”

Baiting Hollow Linda Bartunek was at the meeting with her husband George last week.

“The library is moving in a good direction,” she said. “I’ll said I might as well go down and try it out. We really enjoyed it.”

The program is free to join. For the schedule and the list of books, contact the library at 631-727-3228.

cmurray@timesreview.com