‘Grownup Storytime’ returns to KFPL

Virtual book club explores a variety of genres and authors

Live storytelling series promotes human connection over Zoom.
Credit: 
Supplied by KFPL

Kingston Frontenac Public Library’s (KFPL) ‘Grownup Storytime’ has returned to give adults the experience of being read stories—something many have missed since childhood.

The six-week series will run virtually over Zoom every Monday afternoon from 1 to 2 p.m. from the weeks of Jan. 10 through Feb. 14. Margi McKay, programming assistant at KFPL, will read stories by various authors.

According to McKay, Grownup Storytime offers a relaxing escape from everyday stresses.

“Because we're on Zoom, my listeners can turn off their screen […], and they can just listen,” McKay said in an interview with The Journal.

“[Being read to] just frees your mind and your imagination. You can go where the thoughts and inspirations lead you. It’s very stimulating, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually, sometimes.”

McKay features stories of varying genres and authors in hopes of inspiring participants to explore literary works outside their normal library.

“We're always trying to open people's eyes to what else is out there,” McKay explained. “Some people kind of get stuck in one genre, and book clubs like this are our way of making people aware of other genres.”

KFPL’s current series features stories of unconventional families, a book of letters from famous people, love stories, and works written by Black Canadian authors.

“I tried to make sure that I get a lot of different genres, different kinds of material, different themes, different subject matter, and lots of different authors,” McKay said. “We want to promote Canadian authors as much as possible.”

Grownup Storytime originally began in person roughly four years ago. McKay was inspired by a similar program at the Halifax Public Library.

“It’s a great way for people to make connections and get into conversations with other people [who they] might not otherwise have ever crossed paths with.”

The pandemic has forced the program to go virtual, increasing the average number of weekly participants attending from their own homes.

Grownup Storytime has also helped listeners feel a sense of community.

“We have a discussion time after the reading [which] allows people to still make that human connection,” McKay said.

KFPL’s manager of programming and outreach, Liz Coates, added in an interview with The Journal that Grownup Storytime can reach a variety of age groups. Coates hopes more Queen’s students will take an interest in it and the many other programs run by KFPL.

“It's just such a special experience, being read to, and Margi has this wonderful voice that just captivates you,” Coates said.

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