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Good Reads: Titans Share the Books They Love

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When Class of 2020 physics graduate Denyz Melchor studied black holes one summer in Melbourne, Australia, she became homesick. There were no Mexican restaurants or anyone she could speak to in Spanish. She turned to reading the original Spanish version of “Like Water for Chocolate” by Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel and cooked recipes from the book, which comforted her while being so far from home.

Chemistry major Kimberly Lopez-Zepeda’s go-to book is “Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World” by Mark Miodownik. Her community college mentor suggested the book since “it does a great job connecting science to our everyday lives.”

Titan softball pitcher Taylor Dockins, a communications major, turned the pages of the inspirational book “Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard” by Jennie Allen to lift her spirits: “This book will teach you the true meaning of what living life is.”

These Titans are sharing the books they love as part of Titans READ@Pollak Library. The program started in 2018 as a year-round library display of posters featuring students, faculty and staff — and the books that inspire them. But this spring, the program transitioned into an online blog series since the library building is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Since no one is on campus to see the new posters, we wanted the campus community to be able to still view them — online,” said Joy Sage, reference and instruction librarian.

For the university’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2007, the library displayed its first READ@Pollak Library posters. The READ program is based on the American Library Association’s Celebrity READ posters, which feature popular culture figures — from TV and movie stars to athletes and musicians.

“We wanted to do our own version to highlight people on campus and tie everything together with reading,” Sage noted.

The blogs are written by business administration major Elaine Duong, who works as the library’s marketing student assistant. Her role consists of a variety of assignments — from updating content on the library website, creating themed blog posts, hosting creative workshops and more.

Through the blog, the hope is that readers relate to the stories shared and learn more about library services, while promoting reading a good book.

“Reading is important because it can be a way for us to educate ourselves and learn to empathize with people whose experiences are different than our own. It’s also a way to relax and practice self-care,” added Joy E. Lambert, reference and Instruction librarian. “I hope people will enjoy seeing books that other Titans love and be inspired to read some of them on their own.”

In addition to Sage and Lambert, members of the library’s Titans READ committee are: Mandy Bruns, library services specialist; Sarah Parramore, education librarian; and Megan Graewingholt, social sciences and government documents librarian.

Check the website for upcoming Titans READ@Pollak Library blogs.

Contact: Debra Cano Ramos,