As a retired professor of Anthropology and History at Solano Community College and Golden Gate University, Janis Silva has a profound connection to academia. She is also an Archeologist and has her doctorate in Psychology. She moved to Marin County over four years ago from Fairfield. She had a significant change in her vision due to a retinal eye condition and moved to Marin to be closer to her daughter. As a retired professor of Anthropology and History at Solano Community College and Golden Gate University, Janis has a profound connection to academia. She is also an Archeologist and has her doctorate in Psychology. Relocating was hard; she left her social circle and her academic connections.
Janice also missed reading books until she found she could check out books on cassette from the Library Without Walls in Novato. Even more significantly, a terrific librarian there referred her to LightHouse of Marin. There she met our Social Worker, Jeff Carlson and was soon immersed in our Marin training programs: Orientation and Mobility, Independent Living Skills and Access Technology, where she learned to use a Victor Reader Stream, a far more elegant and capable device than that old cassette recorder. (The tiny Victor Reader Stream is one of a class of new digital reading machines LightHouse students learn about when they take classes or seek advice from our frontline staff.)
The training, so she told us, truly enhanced the quality of her life and opened up her world.
But Janis is not someone who lets grass grow under her feet; she is a natural organizer. She came to the Marin LightHouse with an idea. She wanted to analyze and critique books with others. With Jeff Carlson’s assistance Janis started an accessible book club that has eleven active members. Though Janis listens to her books using a Victor Reader Stream, not everyone has one. On behalf of those that don’t she works with the California Braille and Talking Book Library out of Sacramento to coordinate the production of multiple audio copies of the books the club is reading. Currently the LightHouse of Marin Book Club is the only book club in California recognized by the Library.
Starting with the Poisonwood Bible the group has read and discussed one book a month. Recently the club read Tai-Pan, Fall of Angels and currently they are reading Monuments Men by Robert Edsel. Janis downloads from the BARD the book jackets of possible reads and plays the previews at the meeting so that the group can select the next book. Janis emphasizes that this is a collaborative book club – other members have looked at how various book clubs are facilitated and brought their input to the group. Janis told us, “…my life has been enriched and it is the [book club] that makes it great.”
If you are interested in joining the LightHouse of Marin Book Club, contact Jeff Carlson at 415-258-8496 or email@example.com. The club meets at our San Rafael office on the second Thursday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. After the meeting, club members often enjoy a delicious lunch at the Whistlestop Café.