Library Common Read events underway

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By Vanessa Montano Rodriguez

Events for this fall’s Common Read will be conducted on Zoom beginning Oct. 27.

Throughout the summer and into the fall, Librarians Tom Ballinger and Eileen Oliver distributed a book titled “The Month Presents Occasional Magic” by Meg Wolitzer for the Common Read this semester at the college.

Events begin workshops for slam participants Oct. 27 with four sessions meeting at 2-3 p.m., 3-4 p.m., 6-7 p.m., 7-8 p.m.

The Zoom ID is 924 5861 0732 and the passcode, if required is LCR2020.

The event is open to all in the college community.

More events via Zoom are set for November.

A short story discussion is scheduled for 3-4 p.m. Nov. 3.

A short story slam is set for 6-8 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11.

Tom Ballinger said 500 copies of the book were available but only about 300 free copies were distributed, so members of the college community can still join.

“We have not got to a point where we have run out of the books, however, in case of something happening, we count with ebooks, where the student would be able to find the book and also download it,” Oliver said.

Twenty-five ebook copies of “The Month Presents Occasional Magic” are available through EBSCO.

  • To download the eBook, begin at the library’s home page: click on Discovery: all-in-one search.
  • Type “The Month Presents Occasional Magic” in the search box and hit the enter key.
  • Click on View ebook in the first record shown and sign into your ACES account.
  • Click on electronic publications (ePUB) on the left side of the screen to begin reading the book online.

Common Read, similar to a podcast but conducted over Zoom, is a gathering where students are able to tell their stories about overcoming any type of a challenge in life, how they got into that challenge, how they reacted, what they did to keep their life going, and how they were benefited or affected, Oliver said.

“There is always a purpose behind any event. In this case, we are pursuing the goal to bring San Antonio College together, to have students with similar interests, to get together to know more about each other and discuss similar objectives,” Oliver said.

Funding came from Dr. Jothany Blackwood, vice president for academic success, Oliver said.

“We will keep giving the book out until we do not have any in our hands,” Ballinger said.

Anyone who is interested in getting the book can pick it up from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in parking Lot 16, Ballinger said.

“The whole idea of making the events came from the committed co-chairs at San Antonio College,” Oliver said.

The book “The Month Presents Occasional Magic” is filled with many emotions in the student stories, where they share a piece of their life.

“I know that many students will find themselves connected with some of the stories and I have the certainty that this will motivate them to keep working hard on their goals,” Oliver said.

She said it is very important for the college to see events like this having success.

The Common Read events will help students with increasing their critical thinking and also promote literacy as one of the biggest goals for San Antonio College, Oliver said.

To join the events, visit: for the Zoom meeting ID and passcode for the events.


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