Towson library’s Veterans Book Group keeps service members connected during crisis

December 2, 2020

The Baltimore Sun/The Towson Times, November 6, 2020
by Taylor DeVille

Towson University librarian Jenn Woda is in many book clubs, but none quite like the Veterans Book Group.

She’s discussed science fiction and women’s stories with various groups, but after her eight years of active duty with the U.S. Navy and three years in the reserves just out of high school, the former aircraft engineer wanted to reconnect with others who had been in the service.

“It’s almost like I’m from another planet when I talk about my military experience to individuals who weren’t in the military,” said Woda, who requested to use an abbreviated version of her last name.

When a Baltimore County Public Library system librarian suggested the Veterans Book Group at the Towson library branch, Woda found the camaraderie she had missed since serving overseas years before.

“It’s kind of like a book group therapy,” she said, “because the things that we uncover are not only in ourselves, but in each other.”

Now in its sixth year, the free program was started by the nonprofit Maryland Humanities as a way to engage more with Maryland veterans, of which there are roughly 362,000, including 42,000 in Baltimore County, according to the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

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