This year’s Summer Reading theme is “Build a Better World” and the James V. Brown Library has announced its slate of programs for adults.

This summer, in honor of the theme, book club members will read books that discuss various social topics. The goal is to learn more about our world and provide a place for community discussion. The more we know about the world, the better chance we have of making it a better place.

On June 28, the featured book is “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The book club will be facilitated by Dr. Sarah Silkey, associate professor of history at Lycoming College.

“Between the World and Me” offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men – bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up and murdered out of all proportion.

On July 26, join Dr. Kerry Richmond, associate professor of criminal justice at Lycoming College, as she discusses “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson.

“Just Mercy” is a powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice – from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

On August 23, Dr. Ryan Adams, assistant professor of sociology/anthropology at Lycoming College, will discuss Michael Pollan’s “In Defense of Food.”

In the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion – most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Light refreshments will be provided. Books will be available to borrow at the library, located behind the circulation desk. The programs will be held in the Lowry Room on the third floor of the Welch Children’s Wing. Registration is required and may be made by calling 570-326-0536 or at

This program is one of the many ways Pennsylvania public libraries support the PA Forward initiative through providing social and civic literacy opportunities for learning. By helping Pennsylvania citizens improve their command of five types of literacy – basic, information, civic and social, health and financial – libraries can be essential to greater success in residents as students, as parents, as employees, as consumers, as citizens.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at