Adult Services Roundtable
Topic: BOOK CLUBS!
Kelly, Springville Road
Most of the represented libraries have at least one book group or plan to start one. The group discussed various types of groups, when & where they meet, along with administrative tasks such as how groups make selections each year. We also discussed unique opportunities to do programs that are more of a one-time/one-shot deal like author appearances, holiday-themed programs and others.
Genre groups- Pick a topic or subject and either read, listen to or watch a movie with the same topic. Everyone usually does a book talk or something similar. This seems to be a good way to shake up a stale book group. Perhaps this can be done once a year?
Local/Skype-with authors- Pick a book written by a local author and have them present during discussion or Skype. Not all book group participants enjoy talking about a book with the author. If the author is popular, a group will usually defer to having the author talk.
Fiction/Nonfiction only groups- If the library is big enough for staff to do it, fiction-only or nonfiction-only will sometimes be a good way to diversify book groups.
Off-site book groups- Homewood hosts a book group at Nabeel's cafe - which works out great because it is literally across the street from the library and the owner is a member of the library board. However, if more than 15 people show up, noise is a factor. Other libraries have an off-site book group usually at the local senior center, which is an excellent way to get a good audience. As of now, no one in the JCLC does a bar book club, but it has been done successfully around the country to draw in the millennial patrons.
Problem patrons- We all have them and most of us just learn to cope or learn to steer discussion. There will always be those that dislike the book selection or are having a particularly bad day, but most book group leaders seem to enjoy the overall experience.
Food or no food- All of us agreed that having a few light snacks is beneficial -- not all of the libraries can afford it, however. Some long-standing groups bring their own snacks and others even plan Holiday events.
How books are selected- Most groups represented vote for their selections with the librarian narrowing down the number of titles eligible based on copies in the system, etc. If a group is just starting out, it's common to have the library pre-select for the group.
Book Kits- Don't forget to utilize Hoover's fiction book club kits! There are currently 88 book kits with at least 10 books per kit. There are some 20+ kits that contain one large print copy also. In Sierra, they all appear as items to the record b24931263 under Hoover Public Library fiction book club kits. For an annotated list, please go to this link.
Book Discussion Group Websites
Guides for those leading book discussion groups indexed by title, author, and genre. Also includes advice and a forum to invite the author to your book group.
Designed to help book clubs be more effective by getting the most out of their selections with discussion questions and interesting links
Find a book. Find a review. Find a discussion guide. Also has tips on starting a book club and making the most out of it.
Offers an extensive selection of reading group guides along with general reading group information
Offers reading group guides for a variety of different genres (search by book title or author to get to reading guide)
Recommendations for lively book group discussions along with book summaries and conversation starters
Provides book synopses, discussion questions, and critical feedback
If you have more information to inform or enlighten, please add to the Blog's comments!!!