The staff at Bryant's Douglas and Judith Krupp Library know the value of a good book: a path to new worlds and, with the help of a Virtual Book Club, new friends.
A committee of library staff members re-launched the library's Book Club in July 2019 to provide a way for faculty, staff, and students to get together and discuss a selected book. The team included Meagan Joseph, who led the committee; Wendy Smith; Patricia Lombardi; and Adriana Minacapilli.
Monthly meetings drew members affiliated with a range of groups across campus—with newcomers attending each meeting. And now with the help of video conferencing tools, the members have taken their discussions online. Members who are as far away as Mumbai, India, are able to participate in what is now the Virtual Book Club.
“It’s interesting getting to know people through what they like to read, and their different takes on what we’ve read.”
Joseph, who continues to lead the club, says that especially in these unique times, the club offers a valuable way for Bryant community members to connect. “It’s interesting getting to know people through what they like to read, and their different takes on what we’ve read,” she says, all of which she thinks may have led to the success of the club so far.
Says Erica Lebrun, Bryant Information Services staff and longtime member of the library's now-virtual club, “[The club] allows me to connect with people on campus on a more personal level, including those I wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to speak with otherwise.”
“Reading is about expanding your world and learning new perspectives, and book clubs are a way to connect with other people who find value in that as I do.”
And, says Lebrun, who’s a member of multiple book clubs, “Reading is about expanding your world and learning new perspectives, and book clubs are a way to connect with other people who find value in that as I do.”
The club members vote to select a title from a range of genres, says Joseph. During this academic year, they've read:
- Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
- Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
- Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton, chosen in partnership with the Hochberg Women’s Center
- Passing Strange by Ellen Klages
Next up is The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
Joseph is delighted that her work for the group has been well received. “It's something I love to do and I look forward to, so I’m so happy that people are like, ‘I can't wait for the next book club.’
“It's just a really nice way to spend an hour on a Wednesday afternoon.”