Last updated: September 06. 2013 2:22PM - 138 Views

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Libraries + books +people who love to read = book discussion groups. I would guess that people have been getting together to discuss books for as long as books have been around, and millions of discussion groups meet each year even now.

The Delaware County District Library has sponsored book discussion groups for decades, and currently there are four active adult groups meeting each month at each of the library’s facilities. Recently, discussion groups for children, teens and parents and children have been added to the library’s program line-up, too. You can learn more about when these groups meet and what they are reading by checking delawarelibrary.org, by calling 740-362-3861 or by picking up a quarterly calendar at any library location.

As you can imagine, over the many years that the library has been holding discussion groups, we have accumulated hundreds of titles of books with many copies of each. While we have often recommended these books to customers asking for suggestions of books to discuss, it occurred to us that we should include these titles in our catalog so that anyone can find them.

We have embarked on a project to make all of the books that we have set aside as book discussion group books easily discoverable in the library’s catalog. When the project is completed, you will be able to find the titles of the books as well as the number of available copies of each, and match the wide variety of those books with the needs of your particular book group. We hope to have the project finished quite soon, but in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to ask us about discussion books owned by the Library. Just like you, we love to read and we love talking about books!

Did the Hersheys who founded the candy company die on the Titanic?

In 1894, Milton Snavely Hershey founded the Hershey Company, and by 1907, it had so many employees that an entire town was needed to house them all. The result, Hershey Park, included a swimming pool, a ballroom and even rides. In 1911, Hershey put a $300 deposit down on a luxurious trip on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. As luck would have it, though, Hershey found it necessary to return to the United States earlier than planned, and he and Mrs. Hershey sailed on a German luxury liner called Amerika instead. In a strange coincidence, as the Amerika made its way across the ocean, it sent a message to the Titanic, warning of large obstructions in the area where the ship eventually went down. The Last Days of the Titanic tells similar stories of many other passengers.

Who played Charlie in the original “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and what is he doing now?

The actor who played Charlie in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” is named Peter Ostrum, and it was his only movie. He turned down the opportunity to reprise the role in the second book in the Charlie Bucket saga (and a third, which was never written). According to Current Biography, later in life, Ostrum became a large animal veterinarian, a profession he still practices today.

What is diphtheria?

The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book notes that diphtheria is an airborne bacterial disease, usually presenting itself first in the nose and throat, but could also surface as skin lesions. A gray, fibrous material grows over airways, causing difficulty breathing and sometimes uncontrollable drooling, as well as a deep cough and chills. Diphtheria was most common during the winter months. Routine childhood immunizations have nearly erased diphtheria in the United States. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are less than five cases a year. Though it is still a problem in crowded nations with poor hygiene, diphtheria is now rarely fatal.

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Mary Jane Santos, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Mary Jane at mjsantos@delawarelibrary.org . No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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