Library adds programs for adults

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published May 25, 2016

Photo by Deb Jacques

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — If you head into the Clinton-Macomb Public Library this spring, you might learn a thing or two about war or organized crime.

The library, located at 40900 Romeo Plank Road in Clinton Township, is setting the stage for a couple of new programs.

On Monday, June 13, Tim Puzella will present “The Life of a Civil War Soldier.” The program will delve deep into the life of an American Civil War soldier, covering topics ranging from food, equipment, life outside battle, and weaponry. Puzella will also provide a firing demonstration.

The first program, which was slated to take place May 23, after press time, was called “Organized Crime in Detroit” and explored Detroit’s struggle with gang violence and public corruption during the first half of the 20th century. James Buccellato, senior lecturer of political science at Wayne State University, was scheduled to be the feature presenter.

The two programs are new at the library. Director Larry Neal said topics for adult-oriented programs tend to fluctuate each year. He said history always draws a generous crowd due to the tremendous amount of interest invested in famous American wars.

He said people can watch documentaries on how the Civil War played out, but to see firsthand offers a different perspective.

“I think that we have a tremendous amount of history in this area, and people feel a connection to that,” Neal said. “It’s a great way to keep people aware of the past, so that we don’t necessarily repeat the same mistakes.”

Library Community Relations Specialist Jamie Morris is responsible for finding program topics that will interest the masses. Along with becoming familiar with certain lecturers and professors in the metro area, she also keeps an eye out on published history works.

The library has had speakers of all kinds over the years, from war buffs to representatives from Sanders chocolate, who demonstrated how to make ice cream floats.

At press time, more than 60 people had registered for the organized crime program.

“Sometimes I read something about a certain program, sometimes a patron will recommend someone they’ve seen and sometimes a presenter contacts me about a program,” Morris said. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve found that programs on history go over really well. We get a lot of interest from the community when we have a presentation on a historical topic, and so these upcoming programs fit into that theme.

“As far as planning in advance, I sometimes try to plan based on historical anniversaries or events. Other times, I’ll find someone who offers something interesting and we’ll just schedule it whenever we can fit it in the schedule.”

Neal said the programming deadline is usually two or three months prior the actual events. Presentations geared toward adults are popular, though factors like attendance also play a role.

“When you hit the first 80-degree day, it sometimes challenges our attendance, but the people who get it on their calendar and plan on coming, they’re pretty loyal,” Neal said. “We’ll easily get 50 to well over 100 people … if the person is interesting, engaging and knowledgeable — all those kinds of traits you want in a certain person or presenter.”

And while the programs are intended for adults, they are actually open to all ages. The library just asks people with younger children to be considerate and mindful of all patrons.

Registration is required to attend the Civil War program, which is free. To register, or to learn more about all of the library’s summer programs, call (586) 226-5040 or visit the “Events” page at www.cmpl.org.

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