Assistant Director of Student Engagement University of South Florida
This poster presents the University of South Florida’s Virtual Book Club (VBC), created, and continually improved during a time of social isolation. In April 2020, a faculty librarian and a student engagement professional came together with two dedicated student leaders to build a virtual book club after it became clear that students craved a sustained connection to their campus community. Three years, nineteen books (as of April 2023), and over 400 unique participants later, VBC is still going strong, meeting every week with students, staff, and faculty engaging in discussion and forging lasting bonds with each other.
This poster will highlight the cross-departmental planning that went into and continues to drive improvements within VBC. Aspects of student accessibility including access to technology, ability to purchase books, students' confidence in participating in online discussion, and what a welcoming, safe virtual environment might look like are discussed. Poster viewers will leave prepared to consider how to leverage technologies already available to them at their institutions in tandem to provide accessible and interactive virtual programming to engage their students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, as collaboration with non-library stakeholders is an essential component of this initiative, viewers should leave inspired to consider new programming collaborations and connections across their own institutions.