By Stan Cutler

A little over a year ago, the Friends of the Chestnut Hill Library, through this newspaper, issued a call for speakers to deliver talks at our branch library’s Community Room. Our assumption was that our community includes many folks with something to say and even more with active curiosities who would like to hear it. Seventy-seven percent of Chestnut Hill’s adults are college-educated. Forty-two percent have advanced degrees. 

The experiment has been a success. Since January 2019, we have hosted two-dozen talks that attracted substantial audiences, occasionally exceeding 100. There is a cozy, neighborly quality to our events. The atmosphere is not as formal as the speakers series hosted by the Central Library on the Parkway. There, widely advertised talks attract audiences to hear famous authors and pundits. You may not be famous, but you may be fascinating.

Are you an educator, either active or retired, who wants to give a lecture on the most important things you know? Are you a creative professional, a writer or artist, who wants to share your work? Are you a business professional who has learned secrets of success that you think everyone ought to know? Are you an expert on a fascinating topic? Are you none of these but have ideas worth sharing? 

We are looking for people to fill our Spring schedule. This is a call for proposals. Submit your suggestion on the “Contact” page of chlibraryfriends.org . The Friends’ ten-member program committee will assess each proposal fairly and objectively. Ours is a daytime series, the events are usually scheduled for 1:30 on Tuesday afternoons. (We do occasionally schedule exceptions.) We provide sound and projection for computerized slide presentations. That said, some of our speakers gave wonderful talks without computer assistance. Even though we only advertise locally, people from other neighborhoods may come to hear what you have to say.  If your idea is music-based, you can use our piano and sound system. There is no admission fee because we believe in the “Free” in “Free Library.” You will receive a $100 honorarium.

Don’t miss our next presentation, “Rescued From The Brink”. On Tuesday February 25, at 1:30 p.m. at 8711 Germantown Ave., hear story-teller, zoologist and global wildlife conservationist Bill Konstant talk about successful efforts to save some of the world’s most endangered species: the American bison, Panamanian golden frog, Asian rhinos, the mountain gorilla, the bald eagle and others. Konstant, from Flourtown, fascinated us last year with a talk about working with his friend, Jane Goodall. “Rescued From the Brink” is likely to draw a standing-room crowd. If you’d like to be sure of a seat, there is a link on chlibraryfriends.org  that will allow you to reserve one.

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