Did you know the Worthington Libraries system has had an English conversation group for more than 10 years?

During weekly meetings, adult English-language learners with basic skills work with library staff members to improve their conversational English by discussing such topics as art, jobs and shopping.

Over the years, the group has welcomed participants from more than 58 countries who speak more than 30 languages.

One thing that makes the library's conversation group unique is the informal atmosphere in which non-native speakers actually do most of the talking.

Because so many perspectives on a topic are heard, library staff members often feel they are "traveling around the world in two hours," in the words of one longtime attendee.

This spring, the group will team up with Better Plate Columbus for a community potluck. The event, "Around the World in Small Plates," will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St.

To participate in this delicious partnership, those attending should bring a dish that is representative of their culture to share. All ages are invited to sample and learn about the cuisines of different cultures. To register, send an email to mwhittaker@worthingtonlibraries.org.

Better Plate Columbus promotes cross-cultural exchanges through preparing and sharing of food.

The nonprofit group organizes community events at which refugees, immigrants and residents cook, share and discuss favorite dishes.

The group also coordinates refugee- and immigrant-led cooking classes that meet in home and community kitchens. Participants work to cook a meal, then eat together.

Meredith Whittaker works for Worthington Libraries.