Beginning this semester, in a collaboration between the PSU Alumni & Constituent Relations and the Leonard H. Axe Library, a new book club has been formed for Pitt State alumni.
“It’s a book club for alumni, by alumni authors,” said Ruth Monnier, learning outreach librarian and assistant professor.
Monnier helps run the virtual book club along with Danielle Driskill, assistant director of the Alumni & Constituent Relations.
The book club was formed to encourage engagement and community among Pitt State alumni.
“Anytime we can engage alumni, especially those who we haven’t heard from in quite some time, is always a win in our book,” Driskill said. “With the book club being virtual, it allows us to engage and interact with alumni from all over the country. We have alumni participating from New York, Florida, Texas, and so on… we hope the book club allows alumni to feel engaged with their alma mater no matter where they are and potentially connect or re-connect with fellow alumni.”
The book club is also an opportunity to showcase works produced by former PSU students.
“Our alumni do cool things… you’re not going to know about that,” Monnier said. “It’s hard to highlight that so we want to highlight that, (and) to our current students, hey this could be you further out…”
The book club was formed after a vendor approached the Alumni center and suggested the idea.
“After further research, we decided we could do it on our own without added costs,” Driskill said. “We knew this was the perfect opportunity to work with the team at Axe Library to make it happen. The interest level and the response were overwhelmingly high, so we knew we had to turn it into a reality.”
After joining the book club, the hope is that members will feel connected to Pitt State again.
“So many other book clubs that alumni could be doing so we wanted something special to Pitt State,” Monnier said. “It brings back the connection of Once a Gorilla, Always a Gorilla.”
The books for the club are chosen from a database of works written by former Pitt State students. The club usually takes about five to six weeks to go through a book, with discussion questions posted on a private Facebook group every Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. central.
Monnier said factors such as at access to books, formats, price are considered to make sure it’s accessible to all who are participating.
The club will feature a mix of genres of books and a mixture of fiction and non-fiction.
To join the club, alumni can go to the Alumni & Constituent Relations website and click on the Book Club link.
There is a registration link which interested members will fill out, then they will be invited to join a private Facebook group which will have the discussion questions.
Monnier hopes that by joining the group, members will feel connected to Pitt State post-graduation and even years into their careers.
“…sometimes you leave, and you still want to be attached to your university in some capacity,” Monnier said. “This is a way to meet people where they’re at so this way to bring the love of Pitt State to whereever they are. I hope they remember the fondness they have for Pitt state.”