A Different Kind of Book Club 

By Kate Adler, Director of Library Services 

When we (the library staff) started talking about moving our monthly programs to the virtual world, we thought about what that could/would look like. Could we assign a book that everyone would have access to or even time to readWould the MCNY community be able or even want to participate? 

This summer the library is hosting a series of virtual book clubs. Our book clubs are, however, not your ordinary book club. We do not expect you to have read any particular book to join the conversation. Rather, we will be talking about themes and ideas and the stories that bring them to life. It’s another version of the “Pizza and Conversation” Round Table discussions we have on campus. 

We understand the world through stories, after all. We can make sense of complex ideas through stories, and we create community by sharing stories: the stories we read and write, the stories we sing and speak, draw and dance, those we tell ourselves and one another. So, please join us, this summer to talk about stories. 

The Theme This Time: Home in, after the Pandemic 

By Tina Callender, Evening Reference Librarian 

Tina Callender

Tina Callender

How did we get here? How did “home” become our first virtual discussion? As we brainstormed various ideas, the first thing I thought about was “home,” where all of us now find ourselves most of our waking hours. So many of us are always in our homes nowalways in our immediate neighborhoods, always so restricted in movement to the same places–how are we adjusting? I began to think about what home felt like before the pandemic. Where is the home of families and friends during this period of social distancing and isolation? How will home be different after the pandemic?  

On Wednesday, June 10th we came together and spoke about “home.”  Stories were exchanged amongst us, stories of immigration, of moving to new homes as children, of raising newborns during this time of pandemic and having to remake the old support network of not too long ago. Several spoke as parents with college students who have returned home, expressing the relief of being all together during this time. Speaking of home meant recalling family meals, remembering traditional ways of living and those who have passed. There was also concern expressed for those struggling at this moment without a home and those living with no recourse in abusive situations. What became clear is that everyone present was thankful to have had this time to pause and reflect at home and to be with family in newfound ways. 

Home Now: Research, Resources 

By Natalia Sucre, Instruction & Digital Services Librarian 

The question “What is home today and what will it be as we go forward?” is also a research question. Research based on such fundamental questions about our social world has proliferated in this time of COVID 19 and radical change. Below is a glance at some of the research and resources on aspects of “home” that the pandemic has brought to light. Just the tip of the iceberg. 

Domestic Violence in the Pandemic: How can we help prevent the predictable rise of domestic violence in the stay-at-home world of the pandemic? 

Research Study: “An Increasing Risk of Family Violence during the Covid-19 pandemic: Strengthening Community Collaborations to Save Lives,” April 2020 

Resource:  Breaking the Silence: Domestic Violence During COVID-19, May 2020 

Home Alone: Will the experience of isolation during the pandemic increase already widespread loneliness or create new forms of social connectedness? 

Research: “Psychological Outcomes Associated with COVID Stay-at-Home Orders and the Perceived Impact of COVID 19 on Daily Life,” July 2020 

Resource:  How to Mourn the Death of a Loved One During the COVID-19 Pandemic, April 2020 

Homelessness in the Pandemic: How can we address the negative impact of COVID 19 on those experiencing homelessness? 

ResearchCOVID Tore Through NYC Homeless Shelters. But Residents Were Kept in the Dark, June 2020 

Resource: Coalition for the Homeless COVID-19 Response 

Parenting Strictly at Home: What can parents do to ensure their children’s sound mental health in this crisis and new social landscape? 

Research: “Pandemic 2020: Will the Kids Be All Right? Lessons on Parenting from 100 Years of Crises,” April 2020 

Resource: COVID 19 Resources for Parents – NYS Parenting, June 2020 

Working Strictly at Home: Has work come home to stay—forever? 

Research: “Office Work Will Never Be the Same,” May 2020 

Resource: COVID-19 Story Tip: Working Safely from Home During the Pandemic, June 2020