Speaking of Books

Actor and comedian Tyler Merritt makes a playful gesture with his arms up at a Speaking of Books event

Life-changing insights, laughter, learning something new, becoming inspired to tackle the world… These are just a few of the benefits people describe after attending our acclaimed Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books Author Series at the beautiful Canton Palace Theater.

Since 2016, the Library has brought authors of every genre and background – both up-and-coming and well-known – to meet patrons for FREE. The series is designed to foster community engagement with lively and, at times, challenging conversations. Each bestselling author speaks about their book, followed by a wide-ranging question and answer session.

The series is named for accomplished Stark County-based author, Dr. Audrey Lavin, who is also known internationally for her work in the field of education. Dr. Lavin is a devoted Library supporter and founding member of the Friends of the Library. Her creative talent, knowledge, and devoted service inspire all of us.

We can’t wait to see what the future brings, as this popular series continues to make a powerful impact on our community.

Previous Speakers

Nigella Lawson

Renownend TV Cook, Author

Nigella shared food stories and recipes, many tested in her own kitchen as she was quarantined during the pandemic. We enjoyed her tales of kitchen escapades and of bonding with friends and family over meals, as much as hearing about the food itself!

Tyler Merritt

Comedian, Activist, Author

Tyler told hilarious stories from his own life as a black man in America and how  stereotypes can have potentially dangerous consequences.


Doug Williams / James Harris / Joe Horrigan

Founders of BCFHOF (Williams / Harris), Historian (Horrigan)

Former NFL players and founders of the Black College Football Hall of Fame, Doug Williams and James Harris, joined historian Joe Horrigan to discuss their contributions to the game.

Who is Dr. Audrey Lavin?

This series is named in honor of Dr. Audrey Lavin, our own local “celebrity” author, a globe-trotting academic, a champion of writers, and a tireless supporter of the Library.

She has shown unwavering support for the library mission as a Friends of the Library volunteer and by serving on the Library's foundation for many years. Her commitment to the Library, education, and the art of writing makes her the perfect inspiration for this collection of acclaimed authors.


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