Book Club’s Journey to the Online Platform


Paola Nolasco, writer

Did you know Independence High School’s Book Club was originally known as the ‘Media Center Club’? It wasn’t until Stephanie Ehrick took over seven years ago that it was advertised as ‘Book Club’.


“Book Club always existed, it was just called the Media Center Club, but it wasn’t active. So when I took over seven years ago, I changed it, and advertised it as a student book club,” said Mrs. Ehrick, club sponsor. “We are more like a library advisory club that helps me organize library events, displays, and we also read books together. We also do community service with the public library. Before Covid, we did puppet shows and read to little kids.”


Due to the pandemic and students switching to online learning, Book Club now holds its meetings every Thursday on Webex at 2:45 p.m. 


“Thursdays was the day I could have someone cover the Media Center after school [before COVID-19] so I could focus on Book Club. We just kept it the same.”Ehrick said. 


The transition to online learning was sudden and barely gave students and teachers alike time to prepare. Book Club is no exception, facing challenges of its own. 


“I think getting students the physical book is a challenge,” Ehrick admitted. “I had to drop it off at a student’s house so that she could have it. Plus, I need to quarantine the books for four days afterwards.”


Apart from some changes, Book Club manages to continue connecting people through literature. According Ehrick club members read a book every quarter. 


“We just finished People like Us by Dana Mele and Strings Attached by Judy Blundell,” she said. “I think Book Club is an easy club to do during Covid because we can just focus on reading the same book and then chat about it. Our next book will be a book movie combo so we can discuss and then do a viewing party.”


Book Club members seem to really enjoy the club because they find a community of like-minded people. Despite this year being Alondra Gamino Mendoza’s first year as a Book Club member, she seems to have had a positive experience.


“I decided to join Book Club because it seemed really interesting. I also like to read books and some of the things they have done in the past for events also really caught my attention,” Mendoza said. “My favorite thing about Book Club is when we are choosing the books because everyone has a chance to give out a recommendation on what we can read next,” said Mendoza. “Then a few days later we can vote on what we want to read! And even when we finally voted on the books, we still have two options we can pick from.”


The type of people recommended for Book Club are those who have an interest in books and are looking to share that love with others. 


When asked what type of person should join the club, Michelle Angulo, a two-year member, said: “I think a student that genuinely enjoys reading and wants to spread that joy with others as well interact with their community.”


However, according to the club’s president, Macie Keenen, who has been a member since freshman year, anyone is welcome.


No specifics! Anyone is allowed!” Keenen said. 


During quarantine, students may feel isolated because they no longer have the stimulus in-person school offered. A remedy for loneliness and depression is hobbies. 


“It’s important to stay connected. I think clubs and sports help with the isolation that everyone feels right now.” said Ehrick. “There are about five to six kids, but it’s usually larger when we are in person. I would really like to transition into in-person if it’s safe.”


For now, however, Book Club will continue to be held online through Webex. If students want to join Book Club, contact Mrs. Ehrick through her email: [email protected]