Coppola has served as director of the Palm Harbor Library for more than 10 years. The New York native, who earned a bachelor of arts degree from Iona College and a master's in library science from St. John's University, acknowledges that libraries need to provide the public with reliable, up-to-date technology, including computer services. However, one of the top reasons he "became a librarian was because I love books,'' he said. He puts his knowledge to the test by presiding over two monthly book clubs at his library, and he has grown to expect that members of the club that meets during the day will have a completely different opinion on the same book compared with the club that meets in the evening. "That's what's so fun about it,'' he said.
What is on your nightstand?
Right now I'm reading Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life.
Do you recommend it?
He won the Pulitzer for it. George Washington has always been one of my heroes, right up there with Teddy Roosevelt, Churchill and Lou Gehrig. It's great. It's like reading fiction — war, politics and romance. What more do you want?
What book in recent months garnered the most opinions from your book clubs?
The books that have generated the best discussions over the past few months are Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean, Forever Island by Patrick D. Smith, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee. As you can see, it's not a quiet group.
Times staff writer Piper Castillo can be reached at [email protected]