Kristen Getzin, Fraser Library’s programming and youth services librarian, shows off some of the cookbooks that will be featured in its new ‘Cookbook Club.’

Kristen Getzin, Fraser Library’s programming and youth services librarian, shows off some of the cookbooks that will be featured in its new ‘Cookbook Club.’

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Fraser Library announces two new programs for the new year

By: Brendan Losinski | Fraser-Clinton Chronicle | Published December 18, 2023


FRASER — The Fraser Public Library is going to start the new year with some brand-new programs to engage patrons and highlight some fun and enlightening books.

One will be a new book club focusing on cookbooks, titled the “Cookbook Club,” and the other will be a monthly author spotlight series to bring in Michigan authors for Q&A sessions and readings. Both are free, but registration is required.

“We can do some things we haven’t been able to do before because of the temporary location,” said programming and youth services librarian Kristen Getzin. “We also got the millage money so now we can plan some things we didn’t have the budget to do before. Authors can be expensive, for instance. One of the things people in Fraser have wanted when we’ve asked them was they wanted to see more authors, so now we have the ability to do that.”

Brenda Conway, the Fraser Library’s head of circulation and administrative assistant, will be taking part in the Cookbook Club and said she was very excited about the new program.

“I like going through cookbooks. I love just looking through them and seeing the pictures and trying the recipes. Sometimes I just like to see what’s out there; other times, I make some of the recipes. Some cookbooks have stories that go along with them that are very interesting,” she said. “I love meat dishes and casseroles. I don’t like to bake, but I do like trying different recipes or spices with them. It’s a good way to get some new ideas and break up your routine if you always feel like you’re eating the same meals over and over.”

Getzin said that the Cookbook Club will be structured to ensure everyone can have access to the recipes even if all of the library’s copies are checked out.

“The first cookbook we’ll be doing is Alton Brown’s ‘Everyday Cook.’ There’s going to be a copy here at the library for reference that people can come in and make copies of recipes to try out,” she said. “We also have 13 copies that people can check out and take home. … We meet in March, so people have plenty of time to review the cookbook, try recipes from it and find some that you like.”

Each cookbook selection will culminate with a meet-up where participants can bring a dish they selected out of that particular cookbook.

“On March 23, we’ll do a meet-up for the Cookbook Club and everybody will bring a dish,” said Getzin. “You write on a little notecard what is in it, in case of things like food allergies. Then everybody gets to try one of the recipes from the book. … Anybody who is interested in the Cookbook Club needs to contact the library so we can get them signed up. We don’t want to repeat a ton of recipes.”

Getzin added that they have come up with some fun and interesting cookbooks to try out.

“I’m really excited because I love food,” she said. “We have an insane amount of cookbooks in our library system, so we think it’s a fun idea and everybody likes coming together for some food. We have a wide range of cookbooks with a wide selection of dietary preferences offered, so we think it will be something people will just love. Our second one will be by a Michigan author called ‘Ruffage,’ which has all-vegetable recipes.”

“I think it’s a different way to do a book club and I think that will draw some more people in and get them excited,” added Conway. “You’ve got so many books dealing with so many different types of food with so many different variations. You can find a version that’s got a different type of meat than you usually get or are vegetarian or are dairy-free. … You don’t have to make a recipe if you don’t want to, but even if you don’t like to cook, it’s a fun way to try something new and share some experiences with others.”

The Fraser Library will still be continuing on with its existing book clubs as well.

“We already have three book clubs available,” said Getzin. “We have our Presidential Book Club, which is a nonfiction book club which has been running for five years — which is pretty amazing for a nonfiction book club. … We also have ‘Mysteries and Munchies,’ which obviously focuses on mysteries. There’s also ‘Books on Tap’ which focuses on new bestsellers, which they mix up with nonfiction, biographies and a lot of newer fiction.”

The Author Spotlight program will feature a wide range of books, with a focus on Michigan authors.

“We will be starting with Jeff Morrison, who wrote ‘Guardians of Detroit: Architectural Sculpture in the Motor City,’ and ‘Guardians of Michigan: Architectural Sculpture of the Pleasant Peninsulas.’ He will come and talk about his books and his process,” said Getzin. “Then, in February, we are hoping to get (Karen Dybis) the person who wrote ‘Doughtown’ which discusses Detroit-style pizza. We’ll have a discussion and some pizza when we meet up on Valentine’s Day.”

She added that she has so far booked mostly nonfiction authors but is hoping to book more fiction authors moving forward. Getzin also welcomes input from library patrons who may have suggestions for local authors to bring in.

Some of their selections are opportunities she said weren’t possible before.

“In April, we’ll have a program presenter who we had previously, but she did a book on Michigan microbreweries,” said Getzin. “We’ll actually have a beer tasting. She will talk about the different things different local breweries are doing. We’ve never been able to do anything like that before because (the library building) is located too close to churches, so now that we are at the temporary location, so why not take advantage?”

The Cookbook Club will be quarterly, meeting in March, June, September and December. The Author series is planned for monthly installments.

“Take a look at the authors we are bringing. If it intrigues you, stop by. If it’s a book you haven’t read or it sounds interesting, we’d love to have you,” said Getzin. “As for the Cookbook Club, I think that’s just going to be fun.”