Simpson Community Book Club resuming with virtual meetings

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Evan Burley

Simpson book club will continue through zoom.

by Evan Burley, Staff Reporter

After a brief hiatus last semester due to COVID-19, the Simpson Community Book Club will be resuming meetings this semester virtually via Zoom.

According to research librarian Liz Grimsbo, the next Simpson Community Book Club meeting will be on Thursday, Oct 29 at 12 p.m. The subject of the meeting will be Mary Beth Keane’s “Ask Again, Yes,” which is available at the Indianola Public Library. Students, faculty and staff are all welcome to join. 

Originally, the book club meetings were held monthly in Kent Campus Center. Under the previous orange phase restrictions on campus, indoor gatherings such as club meetings have been moved online. After receiving some feedback from previous members, the Simpson Community Book Club will also be having meetings virtually via Zoom.

“[This semester] we’re gonna do Zoom, because we’re in the orange phase, and see how that goes,” said Grimsbo. “I had a former or a book club member, one who attends regularly, ask me if I would do a Zoom book club meeting. I sent that idea out to the campus polls and asked people if they were interested in it. I got some response, so we’re gonna try it.”

Grimsbo encouraged people new to book clubs to also participate. The Simpson Community Book Club, she said, provides a casual environment for members to freely discuss what the club is reading. Friends are also welcome, and encouraged, to attend the meetings.

“One thing I like about book clubs is that I choose a lot of the books, but I like it when other people are choosing the books and it gets me out of my comfort zone,” Grimsbo said. “It gets me to read things I wouldn’t ordinarily read. I like to share my thoughts with someone else and or see what someone else thinks about this thing that happened in the book. I think oftentimes people want to share what they’ve read and want to hear what other people think about it.”

For the upcoming meetings, members will have to provide their own copies of the selected books. In the past, Grimsbo said, the club was able to provide copies, but with libraries closed due to the pandemic requesting multiple copies will be difficult. For the time being, members will need to either borrow or purchase their own copies.

“Some years, we have been able to get books for people,” Grimsbo said. “But that really limits us because we have to get the books from some libraries in Iowa, who have multiple copies of books they buy for book clubs and lend them to other libraries. And they lend them to us even though we’re an academic library, but we don’t always do that because it limits what we can read. So in this case, people have to come up with their own book, which is also limiting sometimes for people.”

For questions about or interest in joining the Simpson Community Book Club, Liz Grimsbo can be reached at [email protected] There are plans to add meetings to the events calendar; in the meantime, interested parties can email Grimsbo to receive the club’s Zoom link and further information.