What is it with book clubs around Geneva Lake?
The Masonic Lodge, the Elks, and even the John Birch Society have nothing on Geneva Lake’s book clubs. It sounds so innocent, and maybe it, and they, are. If you get in your car and drive around Geneva Lake you will encounter a number of libraries. Maybe the best staff at any of them is in Walworth, but the Fontana, Williams Bay and the Lake Geneva Library branches are pretty much class acts, too. Anyway, go in and inquire about the book clubs that meet at the library (free of charge). If the librarian on duty indicates they have one or more, then ask who is the head of the club, any of the clubs.
You will get a blank stare after a slight delay before the librarian tells you that he or she does not know. Who is in the book clubs? Same answer. What books do they choose? Not known. How does one get into one or more of the clubs? That’s when things go to rumor. Nobody seems to know, but most suspect you have to be invited. Also, some of the clubs get started because a rejected applicant (the application form must also be classified) starts a club to compete. Some clubs choose certain “flavors” of books while others do not. When asked about the potential for liability the library might face for a book club’s actions the librarians with whom this was discussed got very quiet. The clubs meet at the library for free. They are called a book club. At what point does what their members do, on and off-premises, cascade over onto the library that allows, aids, and abets most of what the secretive clubs do? What great places for the confidential discussion of polarized political issues, and more. Who would have thought that such innocence might hide something else, indeed? The Lake Geneva Library is the only one that holds its cards much closer to its chest, and that’s probably because of the director, Emily Kornak, MLIS. She’s the head of the book club and that club is library-sponsored, run and controlled by Emily. Wise decision, Emily.
Academy Award-winning Dieter Sturm
and His Volkswagen