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Virtual book club at the Scugog Memorial Public Library

Virtual book club at the Scugog Memorial Public Library

COURTNEY McCLURE, Intern to The Standard

SCUGOG: The Covid-19 pandemic changed many things within Durham Region and Scugog, like moving in-person meetings online and temporarily closing non-essential businesses. The Scugog Memorial Public Library in Port Perry is one of the many businesses that had to temporarily close their doors. However the closure hasn’t stopped Sarah White from running her book club. Sarah White is the manager of public services at the Scugog library, and she has been running an in-person book club at the library for over a decade. The book club was moved online to help enhance and build more ways for people to access human connection and non-physical contact through the library. The club’s first online meeting will be Thursday May 14th at 2 p.m. and she will be offering a bi-weekly meeting from that date onward. The first book the online club has chosen to read is Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. This book is Ng’s first novel, published in 2014. Ms. White explained her reason for choosing it was because it has won several awards and is critically acclaimed. It received the Amazon’s #1 Best Book for 2014. Everything I Never Told You, in her opinion, is a very good read and offers a lot to talk about, which is what she is always looking for when choosing a book for her club. Last year, the club read another one of Celeste Ng’s books titled, Little Fires Everywhere, and it was very well received by participants. The books they read are targeted mostly toward adults, but she shared that attendance is centered more around interest toward the book itself rather than a specific age group. Generally, the club reads adult literary fiction. With the library physically closed to the public, the staff have been able to showcase their selection of ebooks. The ebooks are available through the libraries online Overdrive service and Libby apps. Taking a popular online program to an online platform seemed to be an obvious choice to the library staff, shared Ms. White. Having a regular program introduced through the Scugog Memorial Public Library can have a great impact on the community and reduce many negative feelings that come from social isolation, said Ms. White. “We are very aware of the role we play in the lives of our community members. We wanted to ensure we could still offer those opportunities for connection even when our doors are closed.” Anyone interested in joining Sarah White’s book club can visit the Scugog library website at By following the link, participants are asked for their first and last name and their email address. Once they are registered, Sarah will email a link to them, so they can access the Zoom meeting. To access Zoom, people will need to have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or a PC available, so they can join future meetings of the club. The library staff will post a new section on their website with an arranged list of book titles that could be used as ideas for people who are interested in running their own book club. The list will include a link to multiple discussion guides. The books will be available for more than one person to access, so all members will be able to borrow a copy and prepare for future discussion.

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