The Student Newspaper of Highline College

Stuck at home, Highline reads – to each other

Tessa Fishkin Staff Reporter Mar 18, 2021

Sometimes, people need a story. 

The Highline library has been holding virtual “Highline Reads” read-aloud bi-weekly sessions for adult Highline community members via Zoom. 

Highline faculty, staff, and other community guest readers will be reading aloud to the Zoom audience from their own selections. The series will cover as many topics as they possibly can so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. After every session, there will also be an optional discussion where readers and attendees can chat about the readings presented that day.

“It’s not just textbooks and dry academic reading,” said Samantha Sermeno, a Highline reference librarian. “Highline’s faculty, staff, students, and administration also include some hugely talented folks– poets, writers, artists — and we wanted to spotlight our on-campus literary and niche-interest talents.”

Some of the past sessions have included selections from Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology, read by KCLS librarian Megan Willan; Ed Morales’ Latinx : the new force in American politics and culture, read by Ethnic and Gender Studies professor Diego Luna; and Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey, read by Highline English professor Rhiannon Hillman.

“Themes change every week based on individual readers’ interests, from activism, to speculative fiction, cultural identities, poetry and more,” Sermeno said. “Whether you want to learn more about the history of grassroots activism and resistance, get some ideas for what to read next with a public librarian reader, or hear some original fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, we will have something to interest you.”

Some of the Highline Reads sessions are recorded, and they can be found in the Highline Reads library guide page on the library’s website (https://library.highline.edu/highlinereads). 

On top of recordings, the guide will also include “highlighted books, writings, and web resources mentioned in each session,” said Sermeno.

Highline Reads is also looking for guest readers from the community (both Highline or general public) to join the sessions, if they have material they’d like to share, as long as at least one of their selections is available through the library — printed books, ebooks, or database-accessible materials are all fair game.

“We really miss getting to see everyone on campus, so these events give us the chance to catch up with everyone in a casual way with after-reading discussions, and to meet some new folks,” Sermeno said. “We welcome any kinds of passages or short stories from books, poems, published original work, or online news/editorial pieces across fiction or nonfiction themes.”

Anyone who would like to read or suggest material for the sessions can contact the library via email, refhelp@highline.edu. 

“Our librarian team is happy to help with selection and the checkout process while campus is closed,” said Sermeno. “We can also suggest themed booklists for inspiration, like our Recommended Reading Guides, https://library.highline.edu/recommendedreadingguide and upcoming Leisure Reading Guide.”

The physical library may be closed, but they hope to use Highline Reads to highlight its extensive collection of literature, which is still available for borrowing during the pandemic via their website,  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1k4heE7z6ZTw8M9K9O01YiOfjF8bYu5qDADwfjt5d24Y/edit for drive-thru pickup at Building 30 on campus.

The Highline Reads sessions will continue into Spring Quarter and beyond. 

“We will be continuing to share stories, in some form or another, for as long as Highline is interested in hearing them. We’re still finalizing details for the Spring Quarter, but we currently have plans for some really exciting new readers and content,” said Sermeno. “We’re currently looking for a handful of new readers for Spring Quarter and beyond, so please reach out [via the library’s email] if you’re interested in being a future reader.”

The next Highline Reads event, April 7 at 2 p.m., will feature Professor Susan Rich and a few writers from Highline’s Arcturus literary magazine, who will be reading their original works. The events will be accessible via a Zoom meeting link, which can be found on the Highline Reads webpage, https://library.highline.edu/highlinereads