H-F Library Hosts Virtual Lunchtime Book Share

Faith Lee, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the H-F Library hosted a virtual lunchtime book share. At the event, students and staff discussed different books they’ve read individually and shared their recommendations with the group. 

All of the books that are recommended in the share out were compiled into a list for the participants to read. This is the library’s second time hosting this event virtually, and they try to hold one at least each month. 

Librarian and co-sponsor of Friends of the Library, Alicia Rodriguez, enjoys meeting virtually and discussing new books with students and staff during the book share. 

“Each discussion is fun and exciting and you always walk away with something good to read that you might not have heard of before. Based on our discussions, I always find new books to read and I love that,” Rodriguez said.

Senior Khadeejah Ryan is a member of Friends of the Library and has participated in both of the library lunchtime book shares. She enjoys how excited and enthusiastic everyone is to share what they’re reading. 

It’s very welcoming and you learn a lot through books like different perspectives and open mindedness, so it’s nice to see people who have that common interest and reflection come together for a fun discussion. Although we’re virtual this year, there’s still that sense of community and excitement that allows for a discussion that flows well,” Ryan said. 

The library continues to provide meaningful programs to the H-F students, staff and community. Along with the lunchtime book share, they also host Friends of the Library and book promotions for Latinx History Month and Native American History Month. 

Librarian and co-sponsor of Friends of the Library, Jane Harper, wants students to stay connected with H-F and the library even in the pandemic. 

“It’s so important for students to feel a tie to their school. Simple [events] like our lunchtime book share gives a student who is looking for a connection a chance to feel a part of things,” Harper said. “This is just a way for any student to connect with the school which I love.” 

Ryan is also grateful for the opportunity to connect with other students virtually outside of class during the pandemic. 

The library programming has allowed me to stay connected with others especially since we have a lot more time for hobbies like reading, so it’s nice to socialize and talk about things we read and new discoveries we make through reading,” Ryan said. “My family gets tired of me rambling on about what I’m reading, so it’s great to have the opportunity to share with others who are willing and eager to listen and get new recommendations as well! The librarians are always looking for ways to make it fun and welcoming and I really appreciate it all because I enjoy the programs so much!” 

As the CDC guidelines allowed, the library was able to have a library book pick-up program open to all students. With the sudden spike in COVID-19 cases, they are not sure how much longer the program will be available, but they utilize an online library service, Sora. This allows users to read independently online. With Sora, users are able to download books or audiobooks on a Kindle, or simply read on a computer, phone or tablet. 

Rodriguez understands that the pandemic has caused stress for a lot of people and thinks that meeting virtually is one way to help alleviate some anxiety. 

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in these times and a lot of the unknown causes anxiety, but being able to relax and focus on self-care can really help,” Rodriguez said. “Also, when you are able to connect with people virtually and see their faces that helps too. It’s nice to see people and do something fun.”

To encourage students to read while on break, the library plans to host a winter reading program in December with incentives and prize drawings for H-F students. Along with the winter reading program, another lunchtime book share will be hosted in early December. 

To receive more information on the library lunchtime book share or any of the H-F library programming, contact Jane Harper at [email protected] or Alicia Rodriguez at [email protected]. Stay on the lookout for more of the H-F libraries programs this upcoming semester.