UNLV Athletics and University Libraries have partnered on a new initiative aimed at driving engagement throughout campus, the two departments announced Monday.
The UNLV Book Club is being co-chaired by Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois and Dean of University Libraries Maggie Farrell.
Open to all UNLV students, including student-athletes, as an optional offering, the group will focus on one book per semester and hold regular discussion groups via virtual video conferences.
The program’s first book will be A Most Beautiful Thing by Arshay Cooper, which is a moving true story of a group of young men growing up on Chicago’s Westside. They form the first all-Black high school rowing team in the nation, and in doing so not only transform a sport, but their lives. The book was chosen because it touches on a number of issues including racism, education, trauma, and family.
“This new partnership with University Libraries is something unique during these unprecedented times,” Reed-Francois said. “We continue to look for different ways to engage our campus and this is another great way to foster community among our students and staff, while at the same time encourage reading for leisure.”
Farrell added, “Reading is key to developing understanding and empathy so the Libraries are thrilled to promote conversations around critical topics facing our students.”
There is no charge for UNLV students to join the book club and a limited number of books will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding for 30 copies of A Most Beautiful Thing is being provided by Curtis Myles, president and CEO of Las Vegas Monorail.
Meetings will be held on Oct. 20, Nov. 17, and Dec. 14. Cooper is scheduled to participate in the Nov. 17 meeting.
Students can join the book club by filling out the registration form.