Love meeting new people and trying new things? Join the club!
Published on July 25, 2023
One of the newest clubs at the Fort Worth Public Library is on target to become a larger program in the fall. Children in grades 2-5 have learned about aspects of archery and also sharpened their skills by using age-appropriate, bow and non-pointy arrows during Archery Club.
Initially available each month at a particular branch, the new Vivian J. Lincoln Library, 8829 Mc Cart Ave., is playing host to the last summer round of Archery Club. Aim to attend this fun activity 3-4 p.m. Saturdays in August.
Clubs provide a regular time for gathering to meet and interact with peers, have a great time and learn a thing or two in the process. Youth Services manager Trevor Naughton said that strong relationships between library staff and the community it serves helps shape what the Library offers.
“It's a two-part deal. Our programmers, at both the branch and system level, are always looking for new and exciting programs that meet a community need,” Naughton said. “In order to accurately meet those needs, strong relationships between the library and our patrons need to exist, so the stronger they are, the more accuracy and success we have when launching a new club.”
Sometimes it’s a guessing game on what types of clubs will work, but it’s based on educated intuition.
“Programs are sometimes built around 'this is what we feel, based on our interactions and what has worked in the past, will be successful' and sometimes we take specific qualitative feedback from the public,” Naughton said.
Another goal is to develop experiences that engage children as they grow. Sometimes the process happens backward, with a club created for youth first.
“For instance, we started with Anime Club, which was built out for grade 6 - 12,” Naughton said. “We then started to think through what a K-Grade 5 program would look like that would be a stepping stone into Anime Club. That’s how the Pokémon Club was created.”
These are some of the other library clubs currently available for youth:
- Anime Club: Available to enjoy at eight library locations, this club is designed to bring together anime fans to talk, draw and watch anime. What is it? Anime is a style of Japanese animation that features colorful graphics and vibrant characters placed in action-filled plots often set in the future.
- Pokémon Club: For fans of the beloved game (kindergarten-5th grade), from card collectors and beyond, the club is available at two libraries.
- Teen Gaming Club: With five locations hosting Teen Gaming Clubs – and the occasional one-day tournament event – young gamers will find fellow fans who enjoy playing a variety of titles on the library’s game systems or their own handheld devices.
- Chess Club: Fans and aspiring masters of the traditional board game of strategy are invited to learn and grow their skills. This club is intended for teens, tweens and adults and is offered at two libraries.
Don’t forget the grownups
The Library’s clubs aren’t just for kids. Adults are encouraged to experience community, try out something they’ve never done and find fellow hobbyists in a favorite pursuit.
“Book Clubs are developed by individual branches or library departments to meet the specific interests or needs of their community,” said Jana Hill, the Library’s Adult Services manager. “For example, Southwest Regional’s ‘Get Lit Book Club’ generally reads literary fiction, which complements their popular weekly creative writing program. Branches like Diamond Hill/Jarvis, with a very popular ESL Class, serve that established audience with a monthly book club especially for adult English-language learners.”
Interest-based clubs typically begin at a library branch, fed by strong community roots.
“Our popular Knit & Crochet Clubs have grown from a group of dedicated patrons who have gathered at the East Regional Library to craft together for years,” Hill said. “We saw how they used the Library to build friendships over time, and wanted to offer that kind of experience to other neighborhoods – so the Knit & Crochet Club is now offered at four locations across the city. Sit & Stitch and Painting Club were also developed at East Regional and adapted for a citywide audience.”
The book-club selection will grow even more this fall. “We will be offering an astounding 15 book clubs for adults to choose from,” Hill said. “That’s 14 in-person option and one virtual book club on Facebook – a little something for everyone!”
Here are just a few of the clubs for adults currently offered:
- Fiber Arts Club: Feeling crafty? This club, at the Diamond Hill/Jarvis Branch Library, meets monthly for those who craft with fabric or yarn. A gathering place to share techniques, patterns and stories.
- Knit & Crochet Club: Offered at three locations, joining this community of crafters will keep you in stitches. All skill levels are welcome, and sharing is encouraged.
- Painting Club: Each week at the East Regional Library, aspiring artists will create a painting project to take home through guided, step-by-step support.
- Book Clubs: The first rule of book clubs is that we talk about book clubs. Our location-based clubs bring neighbors together to engage with fellow readers over a particular book. Our Books & Brews Club meets at various venues across Fort Worth to talk about the monthly selection and quench their thirst for a good time. The Stay-at-Home Book Club, born from pandemic necessity, continues to grow as a Facebook-only group. New additions include ESL Book Clubs, with participants reading and discussing books in English to help build their language skills.