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Johnson City Library ‘Pushing the Limits’ to Get Adults Interested in STEM

T.C. Boyle’s book ‘When the Killing’s Done’ is the focus of the first of a four-part discussion series by the Johnson City Library to get adults interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The first program is Jan. 17 at Pecan Street Brewing. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

JOHNSON CITY — The Johnson City Library is “Pushing the Limits” on its new four-part book series.

The free series features four different books with eight videos and discussions on a monthly basis.

The first one is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Pecan Street Brewing, 106 E. Pecan Drive, with a nature theme from author T.C. Boyle’s “When the Killing’s Done,” a book that examines how some scientists are working to restore ecosystems by killing invasive species and why animal rights activists are against the killing of any wildlife. Boyle appears in one of the videos to talk about his intent in writing the book. The second video shows how people promote those sciences every day.

Dave Schafer of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park will lead the first discussion.

“Each of the four programs has a book selected for us,” library director Maggie Goodman said. “(Program organizers) require we have a science partner lead the discussion on each of these.”

Because Goodman needs a head count to give restaurants, advanced registration is required by Saturday, Jan. 14. Call the library at (830) 868-4469.

The four-part series is free because of a grant awarded to the library from the National Science Foundation. The Johnson City Library was one of 60 rural libraries to be awarded a grant for this series, which is designed to get more adults interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Goodman said she believes her library is one of three selected in the state. She answered numerous questionnaires and submitted materials on the STEM programming the library already is doing.

The next portion of the series will be on author Erik Larson’s “Thunderstruck” with a discussion led by Johnson City High School science and math teacher Kim Quick on Feb. 21. Retired physics teacher David Hamm leads the discussion on author Clive Cussler’s “Arctic Drift” on March 21. The last installment is on author Mark Kurlansky’s “Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World” led by Bob Elde of the Hill Country Science Mill.

All the programs start at 6 p.m. with a complimentary meal.

“For me, it’s an empowerment to show every one of us we are scientists,” Goodman said. “We use science every day in our lives. We push the limits of science every day in our lives.”

To entice people, Goodman is giving away five free books to the first five people to register for each program. The library has hard copies and e-books of each book on which the programs are based available to be checked out.

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