Renée Zolinski-Ward, information services technician at Surrey Libraries, gets ready to read for the Literature Club program. (Contributed photo)

Renée Zolinski-Ward, information services technician at Surrey Libraries, gets ready to read for the Literature Club program. (Contributed photo)

Literature Club provides connection for seniors throughout Surrey

Live-reading program offers seniors chance to connect from safety of home

Seniors Week is now underway, making this the optimal time for seniors in Surrey and White Rock to listen in on live readings of unique books, selected especially for them.

Seniors Week runs from June 5 to 11, but the program is here to stay, notes a release issued May 30 by Surrey Libraries, which is offering the service in partnership with Brella Community Services Society.

The Literature Club program will offer the free audio services via telephone, allowing seniors to come together, even when they are apart, as they listen to live entertainment in their own homes.

The live-listening program began in 2020, coincidentally aligning with pandemic restrictions that left many, especially seniors, searching for a connection to others while staying safe.

“The Literature Club might be a bit different from what people would typically expect. But it offers a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else,” promises Edwin Chau, Seniors’ Centre Without Walls co-ordinator at Brella Community Service Society.

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Stories ranging from recognizable classics, to suspenseful horrors – and everything in between – can be heard in the sessions. An opportunity at the end of each meeting will be given for everyone to share their thoughts and observations with the group and participate in meaningful conversations.

“You feel nurtured,” said Lynda Brown, who is a regular listener. “Somebody has taken the time to find a book for you, to read for you, and to do something for you. It makes you feel cared for and it’s engaging for the mind. There’s something just so fascinating about listening to someone else read for you.”

Another listener, Joan Bywater, shared in the release how the program came at just the right time to help her get through the pandemic, allowing her to socialize while observing social-distancing measures.

The Literature Club will run every Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. for anyone who is interested, not only seniors. Call Brella’s Seniors’ Centre Without Walls at 604-531-9400 to register.


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