From Screen to Page: Archer’s Library introduces ‘hot new reads’ to Digital Bulletin Board


Photo credit: Rio Hundley

Archer’s library has introduced a “Hot New Reads” section to the Digital Bulletin Board. The novels displayed above are a few of the picks, which are written by diverse authors and serve as a nod to poetry month.

Humanity within technology. Domestic abuse. Transgender rights. These are all hot-button issues being tackled in not only in the news media but also in literature. In an attempt to bring the literary component of these discussions to light, Archer’s librarians, Stefanie Daehler and Jacque Giebel, have begun to feature books on the Digital Bulletin Board.

“The objective for the ‘Hot New Reads’ is to try to just isolate one book at a time that people are really excited about,” Daehler said, “and then remind everyone that we have such an amazing collection that’s always accessible to them.”

Archer’s “always growing” collection of novels, movies and reference books is mostly compiled by the librarians themselves.

“Ms. Giebel and I are always reading reviews and we are on lots of different LIST-SERVs,” Daehler said. “[We’re] just communicating with anybody who reads and who is creating publications about what the new materials are that are coming out. And then ideally we will find something that we think will be interesting to a member of the community.”

However, the purpose of featuring a book daily on a shared space expands beyond just advertising the library.

“Students often feel really overwhelmed by their being so much to do, so much to get done, but also so much to read,” Daehler said.

Sophomore Madis Kennedy also said that young people can often feel a disconnect between their own lives and the stories portrayed in literature.

“It just seems interesting that they’re trying to bring about this new relevance to literature,” Kennedy said of the library’s “Hot New Reads” plan. “I think … we [need to] get books to be more relevant to our daily lives and our struggles and our realities, and not so much the struggles and realities of scholars from the 1800s.”

In a similar vein, Daehler’s umbrella theme for the novels is to feature “a whole bunch of different, diverse formats … written by or edited by diverse authors.” Daehler also used an allegory to describe the function of the novels as both “windows” and “mirrors.”

“The hope is that it will reflect the diversity of our community and also expand and extend the interests and the awareness of the community,” Daehler said.

One of the library’s first picks is “If I Was Your Girl,” the story of a transgender teenager.

“I think it’s just a really fascinating topic, and really timely,” Daehler said. “And it’s just beautifully written.”

In a world where appreciation of literature is becoming rare, Daehler wants to remind the Archer community of the simple pleasure and experience of reading a book.

“Reading [is] this portal to all these different worlds and perspectives,” Daehler said. “And books are basically being able to experience somebody else’s perspective or life experiences, or even imaginings or fantasies without even having to move from the comfort of wherever you’re reading.”