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Air Force launches new virtual leadership book club 

  • Published
  • By Debbie Aragon
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

 JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Department of the Air Force launched a new virtual Leadership Book Club last month to help build current and future leaders while growing connectedness between Airmen and Guardians.  

“Our goal is to give Airmen and Guardians a platform to connect and communicate worldwide about leadership and the books the chief of staff of the Air Force has chosen to add to his leadership library,” said Amie Stone, Air Force Services Center acquisitions librarian and program manager. 

The idea for the virtual book club came from reading articles in which former CSAF Gen. CQ Brown Jr., now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote about the choices for his leadership library and discussions with his office about DAF Libraries support with copies of the books in installation libraries and on digital platforms, Stone said.  

“When Gen. David Allvin became our CSAF, his office was open to continuing with the book club and he chose the first book for us,” she said. 

That book is ’One Misson’ by Chris Fussell. 

“Although we’ve begun with the first book, it’s not too late to join us,” Stone said. 

The free online club is hosted on the private PBC Guru platform with new books selected every few months. PBC Guru manages professional book clubs for various companies, libraries and alumni associations, Stone said. A moderator with PBC Guru will also guide discussions and monitor the forum.  

“Participants can log in and discuss the current book while also networking with each other,” Stone said. “We see this as a great way to embrace life-long learning, relax and enjoy reading, and connect with your fellow military members.” 

“As the moderator of the book club community, I have the benefit of facilitating a deeper conversation about the key themes in each book we read together, to include presenting resources that extend beyond the book to reinforce and broaden our understanding of those themes,” said Heather Donnithorne, PBC moderator. “I seek ways to connect various members' comments together with an eye toward building a safe and trusted community.” 

Because the format is at your own speed and online, members can join and jump into the discussion whenever they are ready, she said. 

“I provide a suggested reading schedule, but members can read at their own pace,” Donnithorne said. “We have even had members revive a discussion of a book selection that took place before they signed up. We welcome members at any point along our community reading journey.” 

The club will spend about two months on each book so there’s plenty of time to read it, she added. 

Ahead of the program launch, installation libraries were sent copies of the book to make it easier for customers to borrow the book or they can take advantage of free digital copies available through Hoopla or OverDrive on the site www.daf.dodmwrlibraries.org. The site also includes links to other online resources for patrons to access, including the Libby by Overdrive catalog.
  
The next book from CSAF’s list will be announced at the end of April with discussion to begin in May. Although the book club currently features titles from CSAF’s list, the program may expand to other DAF leaders in the future.  

To take part or find out more about the new program, go to https://www.pbc.guru/dafleadershiplibrary or https://daf.dodmwrlibraries.org/daf-leadership-book-club.