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Montgomery College Excalibur

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

Montgomery College Excalibur

The Student News Site of Montgomery College

Montgomery College Excalibur

New Semester New Book Club

Faculty at Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus (TP/SS) are starting a book club in the Spring 2024 semester to create a space for students to not only enjoy leisure reading and share experiences but also to build a community and support system.

It is being organized by LaTonya Pinkard, Associate Professor for English at the TP/SS campus.

LaTonya Pinkard , English Department faculty and Advisor for the new TP/SS book club shares what inspired her to launch a book club on the TP/SS campus and how she hopes to build community through the club’s activities. (Photo credit, Zahra Sarfraz)

“I want to achieve inclusion and diversity,” said Pinkard. “I want students to have a voice and a fun, laid-back, relaxed approach to enjoying a book.”

Pinkard said the book club will be led by students. Students will be able to pick the books they wish to read along with creating other activities as part of the book club.

Esther Schwartz-McKinzie, Literature Coordinator at the TP/SS campus, addressed book banning and encouraged students to join the book club.

Recently, some Montgomery County school officials have been pushed to remove books from school libraries, which may concern some on how it would affect the right to being informed.

Schwartz-Mckinzie said a lot of books being banned around the country are on race and gender and that the push in Montgomery County has been on banning books that acknowledge the LGBTQ community.

Schwartz-McKinzie, also a faculty member of the English department, shares her excitement about the book club. She encourages students to join and emphasizes the benefits of membership both inside and outside of academics. (Photo credit, Zahra Sarfraz)

“I advise students to get their hands on anything banned,” said Schwartz-Mckinzie. “Read it and talk about it. Do not let the pushback limit what we are allowed to read and think about. A book club is a great way to resist censorship.”

ABC News reports that students around the nation are even creating book clubs where they read banned books.

Gregory Wahl, an English Professor on the TP/SS campus who has been part of a book club before, also shared his feelings about Pinkard’s book club.

“For me, this book club elicits pride, pride in Montgomery College, our faculty, the students, our community, and our openness to each other,” said Wahl. When asked about his expectations of the book club, he said, “I am so excited that Prof. Pinkard is running this book club, and I am curious to see what books the students are going to want to read.”

Students and all attendees should expect more information about the Book club’s meeting times and venue from Pinkard in the Spring semester.

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About the Contributors
Faith Ihegihu joined The Excalibur as a staff writer in the fall of 2023. She is a nursing major based on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus where she will complete her Associate Degree in Nursing. Faith joined the paper to be a better writer and photographer. She is also a member of the Nursing club and Phi Theta Kappa Honor society (Kappa Omega chapter).
Leslie Quinonez, Assistant Editor
Leslie Quinonez joined The Excalibur as a photographer in the fall of 2022.
Zahra Sarfraz, Secretary

Zahra Sarfraz joined the Excalibur as a staff writer in the Fall of 2023. She is a Senator-at-Large for the Student Government Association for the academic year of 2023-24 and the student representative for the Academic Service Council. She is the manager for MC’s cheerleading team and a member of the Computer Science Club. She is majoring in computer science. She joined the Excalibur to become a better photographer.

Simret Aleligne, Photographer
Simret Aleligne joined The Excalibur as a photographer in the fall of 2023.

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