Southside Library Sponsors Trip to Movie Version of ‘Crawdads’
Every summer, public libraries subtly encourage young people to read with entertaining summer reading programs, offering prizes and parties.
At the Southside Public Library, staff looked for a way to do something similar for adult readers, and the opening of “Where the Crawdads Sing” – the film adaptation of a Delia Owens book they haven’t been able to continue the shelf since its release in 2018 – provided an opportunity.
Library manager Sheila Watwood said staff had worked with Gadsden Premiere 16 Cinemas to arrange the rental of a theater for a matinee show, with the library subsidizing ticket prices to provide $5 tickets to those who wanted to attend.
They sold these tickets in advance and got a better response than expected. Watwood said 105 people have registered to go; about 100 met library staff at the cinema.
Now for the review: most of these moviegoers really liked the movie, directed by Olivia Newman. There was a mix of people who had read the book and were drawn to seeing the story unfold on the big screen. Others hadn’t read it, but had friends who recommended it.
He followed the book closely, they said, and that seemed like a plus to them. The story of Kya, a girl who grew up in near isolation in a North Carolina swamp, unfolds with elements of mystery and romance.
Nancy Croley was a fan, as was Kaki Hughes, a Southside native who came from Cleveland, Tennessee, to see the movie with old friends. She hadn’t read the book, but had enjoyed the movie.
Library assistant director Lynne Walker said there was a moment in the film where she could tell who had and hadn’t read the book. “Those who hadn’t gasped,” she said.
“That was awesome, y’all,” Cindy Osborn told library directors as she left the film. Others expressed similar praise, and it seemed like they weren’t just talking about the movie, but the whole idea of the gathering.
Hughes said it was good that the library organized the viewing. Donna Sewell and Donna Noah said they enjoyed time with friends.
Southside Mayor Dana Snyder and her mother attended. They also liked the film, and Snyder appreciated the work of the library staff in putting it together.
Other libraries, said one attendee, might take a page from Southside’s book.
Watwood and Walker considered the screening a success. Watwood said that with the interest shown, they plan to research another likely book-to-movie to view.
The Southside Library is small, she says, but they want to see it grow and serve more community members.
Contact Gadsden Times reporter Donna Thornton at 256-393-3284 or [email protected]