Earlier this year Kristen Mogavero, a library media specialist at Kennedy High School, organized the first community read and saw significant participation from students and teachers.
“During this isolating time, I wanted to start up a virtual book club to provide students and faculty an opportunity to connect socially,” she added. “Books have always served as an escape for readers and I felt that this is a time when we could all use the opportunity for a mental break.”
After she researched three different options and putting the decision out to vote via Google Form, “Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency” by Douglas Adams won with 43%.
“The author, Douglas Adams, is well known for his absurd writing style and wit in books like ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,’” she added. “The book is described as ‘a kind of ghost-horror-detective-time-travel-romantic-comedy-epic, mainly concerned with mud, music and quantum mechanics.’”
From there, she reached out to everyone interested and provided them instructions on where they could access copies of the book.
“We utilized resources from the public libraries through the use of eBook collections on Overdrive,” Mogavero explained. “I created and sent out a suggested reading schedule and set up regular Zoom meetings to discuss the book.”
Some participants prefer hard copy books and are still waiting on deliveries due to postal delays.
“I’m incredibly proud of the creative ways that our staff and students are finding ways to stay connected with each other,” said Principal Gerard Owenburg. “We often refer to our school community as a family, and events such as the virtual book club is one of many ways that our Kennedy family is staying connected during this difficult time.”