Once again Calvert Library is participating in the statewide One Maryland One Book initiative of Maryland Humanities.  This year, everyone is being encouraged to read Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  The main character in Purple Hibiscus is selectively mute, Nigerian, fifteen-year-old Kambili who lives in a protected compound with her family.  Her father is wealthy, generous and politically active in public and repressive, abusive and fanatically religious at home.  Though it is an intense novel with themes of home, family, religion, rebellion, corruption, nature, freedom and tyranny, Purple Hibiscus is ultimately about finding your voice.


With that in mind, Calvert Library is hosting a four-part class called #DoSomethingCal! to help attendees find their voice. Former delegate and current organizer and facilitator Sue Kullen will teach the skills of getting organized and involved in issues that affect your community.  When asked why the library is hosting this series, Public Relations Coordinator Robyn Truslow said, “We’ve had a lot of requests from customers to offer this training and it fits so well with an important theme in this year’s One Maryland One Book title.  It’s an important time for people to learn how to advocate for what they believe in, in a persuasive, civil way.  We might get angry about something but anger doesn’t change minds and hearts.”  When Sue Kullen was asked why she agreed to teach the free course, she said, “I believe we can change the world by listening to each other, learning to understand one another’s perspectives and communicating our own experience and beliefs with civility.  Sometimes it might seem that someone’s perspective is rooted in malevolence, but you’ll often find it’s based in fear and misunderstanding.  A grassroots effort to educate and help people past that fear or lack of knowledge can be very powerful.”  With a self-deprecating laugh she added, “Or maybe you just need to learn how to convince someone of the need for a bus stop in your neighborhood!”


Attendees will individually come up with a topic they care about and that can be addressed as a short-term project.  They will use that issue for hands-on practice of a variety of skills such as researching the topic, assessing personal strengths, identifying needs for the project, building a team, running positive, productive meetings, influencing people, using appreciative inquiry and good listening skills, and using a bridge-to-action plan.  Each class will be from 6:30-8:30pm at Calvert Library Prince Frederick and the dates are Thursdays, September 7 and 28 and October 5 and 26. For more information, call Robyn Truslow at 410-535-0291 or check the website at http://calvert.lib.md.us/omob.html.