welcome to the Reading Workshop*

I’m not sure who to blame: my fellow librarian Julie Gilbert for sharing my passion for books and reading or Rebecca Skloot for writing such an intriguing book. All I know is that when a recent Lindell Scholar found that, contrary to popular belief, our students actually enjoy reading, Julie and I began brainstorming ways to make it easier for students to find books they want to read. But we weren’t sure what to do about students’ number one reason for not reading: lack of time.When I read a prepublication review of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I was struck by an idea: what if the library offered something like the fitness courses that the HES department does? What if we gave students a chance to read books they would enjoy reading and discussing together in exchange for a smidgen of academic credit? And so this course was born.

The learning goals for this course are as modest as the amount of credit students will earn. In this course I hope you will learn

**the value of reading and discussing books, even when not required
**how to analyze your own reading preferences
**some practical means of discovering books you are likely to enjoy
**a little bit about the role that books and reading play in society

The book chosen to inaugurate our first Reading Workshop is the one that inspired the course – Rebecca Skloot’s fascinating book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

*In case you are wondering, yes, “Reading Workshop” is a play on words, evoking the concept of “workshopping” used by writers.


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