We’ve asked libraries across Colorado to submit program they’ve run in the last year that they’re proud of and they want the rest of us to see and celebrate. Sharing stories in books is great… but what about our stories? The stories of the ways our libraries bring the community together, enrich the lives of our neighbors, and serve the people who live and work in our cities and towns.
Genevieve Brusilow answered our call and we’re excited to let them tell you about Summit County Libraries’ The Wine & True Crime Book Club in their own words (and shared so many pictures too!).
Library Name: Summit County Library
City/ Town: Breckenridge, CO
Program Name: The Wine & True Crime Book Club
Date/ Date Range of Program: Began August 2021, but continues monthly
Intended Audience: Adults and fans of true crime, like me.
The Wine & True Crime Book Club is a club that has been meeting monthly since August 2021. I live in a small town with lots of visitors and seasonal jobs which means making lasting friendships can be difficult. The Wine & True Crime book club is a place where community members and visitors alike can make friends and come together to discuss a shared interest that is unfortunately one of the worst things that can happen to someone. We affectionately call ourselves Murderinos.
The only rule of the book club is no victim blaming. The group started as 16 people and has grown to close to 35 with a regular attendance of 12-15 in person and many out-of-towners that still follow along and send in their thoughts to share with the group. I make sure to host events intermittently throughout the year as well to make it fun, friendly and inclusive for those actively in the book club and those who have taken a step back. All are welcome to both meetups and these events!
We have taken a self-defense class together, solved a cold case with Hunt-A-Killer, hosted a true crime movie night at our small local movie theater, taken a strange but true tour around Breckenridge, painted for an evening together, and made a float and paraded down Main Street for the Ullr parade.
How did you come up with the idea for this program?
I genuinely enjoy true crime podcasts and it was an area of reading I had yet to explore. I had only read one true crime book when the book club first began and now I have read 21 alongside the book club members. I typically do not read the books ahead of time. I like to be surprised with everyone else.
What partners (if any) did you work with in developing or implementing this program?
I have hosted the event at many locations around town. It’s a win – win. I get a great space to host for free and the restaurant / bar / venue also brings in more business and new foot traffic.
What about this program did you find successful? How did you measure the success of this program?
I measure success by how many people keep coming back and if people seem to enjoy themselves, regardless of whether or not they enjoyed the book. We have people that only keep up by email and read along with us remotely, and people who have been here since the very beginning in person.
A quick story: The Ullr parade is a fun parade in Breck where we praise Ullr, the Norse God of snow and winter. It’s a local’s favorite. Some book club members came up with the idea on their own to make a float. I agreed, of course, I love the Ullr parade, and facilitated the space to create the elements for the float and organized the meet up of anyone who wanted to participate. While handing out candy and telling everyone to “not take candy from strangers” along main street Breck, shouts of “OMG! I’m a Murderino too!” could be heard left and right. The following week was our next meetup and Jaimie walked in and asked if we were the book club. She had just moved to Breck and saw us at the parade and immediately knew she needed to hang with us and that she found her people. She’s one of a handful that have joined us since, are new to town, and now feel a little more settled after having a steady book club and group of friends with a shared interest.
[Cristy here – posting and commentary – I learned about The Wine & True Crime Club at CLiC’s 2023 CLiC & Connect In Person Rural Meetups where she and others presented about how their libraries leverage social media, digital marketing, and other social networks to create community and connect with folx in their area. I told her then, I’ve emailed her since, and I’ll say it here to be published forever and ever: This is a program that I would join – not because I listen to true crime podcasts (I’m no Murderino, even if I have Muderino friends). It feels like a program and group that came about organically, a group of friends with a shared interest making something out of that shared interest. It is, to me, the epitome of how libraries can and do connect folx. How community finds a space and is build from the neighborhood library. I’m so glad Genevieve decided to share this program on our “Program Spotlight.”]
Genevieve Brusilow has permitted us to share their contact information so that anyone interested in reaching out to them about their program can do so. It is an incredibly generous offer of which you are invited to avail yourself if you’re inspired by their work and want to celebrate them or if you have questions about ways you can follow their lead.
To reach Genevieve, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources shared in this post include:
- Urban Dictionary’s “Murderino” definition
- Ullr Fest information from Visit Breckenridge website
- Hunt A Killer game website
- Lots of photos from the Ullr parade and other club meetups!
Colorado State Library (and the readers of this point as well, no doubt) understands how time consuming, emotionally draining, costly (in so many ways), and challenging it can be to run a program or project. Sometimes they fail gloriously… sometimes they fail with barely a whisper. It can be hard to recover from that. You’ve worked so hard!… and it just didn’t work out. Be gentle with yourself. Self-reflect. Pick up the pieces. And then get to the next thing. It’ll be worth it.
For all those other times, be sure to celebrate. Brag about it! Feel good about yourself, the team that collaborated on your work, and the community members who participated with it. Celebrate your hard work and the value that you contribute to your community.
Tell us the story of your program just like this library did here. Submit your library’s program for a Program Spotlight featured here and shared as far as Colorado State Library news reaches.
- Program Spotlight: Library for All at Lakewood Branch, Jefferson County Library - February 21, 2024
- Program Spotlight: Pikes Peak Library District’s Life-sized Game Night (Intergenerational Edition) - January 23, 2024
- Program Spotlight: Summit County Libraries’ The Wine & True Crime Book Club - December 20, 2023