Delois Walters: Library Assistant, Book Club Moderator
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll introduce members of KIRB Appeal, a multi-generational, diverse book club that meets at the Bob Kirby Branch Library.
Our featured reader this time is Kayla Stierwalt.
The Gown by Jennifer Robson (Available through OverDrive/Libby)
DW: Kayla, I don’t think I have met anyone else with your last name here in Bowling Green. Are you from Kentucky?
KS: I do have an unusual last name—I haven’t me anyone outside of my family who bears the name. I am actually a native of Missouri.
DW: What brought you to Bowling Green?
KS: I came here from Texas right after Hurricane Harvey. You could say I was escaping hurricanes and the heat, mainly the heat!
DW: I remember your first visit to the library—you were excited about getting your library card, but dejected that you had just missed the Friends of the Library book sale.
Kayla Stierwalt, Teacher’s Assistant
KS: Yes, books were on my radar and since I missed the book sale, you invited me to KIRB Appeal for a book discussion. I was so happy to make connections there.
DW: You recommended the book The Gown by Jennifer Robson. Why did this book grab you?
KS: I really enjoy reading historical fiction and I was attracted to this book because it is about the wedding gown of Queen Elizabeth, and because it has an element of intrigue as well as a dual time-line.
DW: What else did you like about this book?
KS: I liked the themes of friendship and resilience, and it was hopeful.
DW: Kayla, you’re fascinating; you contribute book reviews to a blog, you enjoy doing research, and in addition to being an avid reader, you write as well. If you were writing the ending to this chapter in all of our lives about living through a pandemic, what would that ending be?
DW: Just as The Gown is a hopeful story; I would write a hopeful ending. This has been a time of hope and growth for me. I am fortunate to be employed and have everything that I need. My wish is that when this is over, people will reflect on what we’ve gone through, slow down, and continue to show kindness, so we can grow and become better people, because we are all in this together!
DW: I know literacy is very important to you. You said something earlier about your job as a teacher’s assistant that made me smile. Do you know what I am referring to?
KS: I’ll bet you mean when I said the favorite part of my job is when I take my group to the library—it’s my Happy Place!
The Gown is available to download through the WCPL digital catalog as an eBook or an audiobook through OverDrive & Libby.
Guys, libraries provide so many services for communies. Right now funding sources question that. I still am learning exactly how much they offer, but I can tell you I felt especially delighted when I realized I could get free access to Mango Languages to learn Arabic. During my time in quarantine I also have registered on Hoopla, which makes a good resource for trying new music, audiobooks, TV shows, and more. Next, I’m exploring research options as I help a student with a project. Let’s keep our libraries alive so communities can thrive.