Tag Archives: Book Clubs

Running Walking Book Clubs

When the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group minutes went out to the list-serv last week, I was excited to learn that Richmond Public Library will be leading a Walking Book Club this summer in partnership with the City of Richmond Parks. Participants will meet at a different park each month, June through August, to walk and talk as they discuss the book.

This idea sprang up betwprasanna-kumar-218699een me and a colleague in a discussion last spring–we didn’t get around to organizing it for last summer, but we were intrigued after we read about the program idea in a Programming Librarian post about the Roaming Readers Walking Club. We brainstormed partnering with the recreation centre attached to our library. What a great way to combine physical activity, literacy, love of reading, and community!

As a runner, my mind started wandering to how we could create a running book club–would people still be interested in discussing books as they ran, potentially out-of-breath, down the streets of Guildford in Surrey? Although we haven’t pursued either a walking or a running book club yet, the opportunity exists and it would complement the children’s BC Summer Reading Club theme: “Walk on the Wild Side.”

I’m curious to hear from you–have any of your libraries hosted walking book clubs or hosted other book clubs with a movement or physical activity component? As the first cherry blossoms finally start to appear in what has been a long west-coast winter, it feels like the perfect time to think about summer reading and outdoor book clubs!

-Meghan Savage, Information Services Librarian, Surrey Libraries

Book Movement and organizing your book club

logoI was perusing the Adult Reading Round Table website, “a group dedicated to developing readers’ advisory skills and promoting reading for pleasure through public libraries in the Chicago area,” which I learned about in a webinar a few months ago. While reading about their leadership recommendations for book club leaders, I discovered a link to the website Book Movement. This website is a resource for book club groups–covering 35,000 book clubs across the United States and what books they recommend and why. In addition to learning about book club options and receiving weekly book club picks, you can track your club’s RSVPs and send out automatic reminders and reading guides via automatic emails. Although I have not joined this resource yet (more emails!?), I am following them on Facebook and would be curious to hear from anyone who participates in their services. Have you used www.bookmovement.com?

–Meghan S, Surrey Libraries

Book Club Season Begins: What’s Your Model?

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As an adult readers’ advisory librarian, the “Back to School” hype doesn’t resonate quite as profoundly as it does for teen and children’s librarians. However, September does mark a notable beginning of the adult programming season for most libraries. Unlike our counterparts in the children’s dept., who are winding down from a frenzied summer of reading clubs and zombie walks, we’re just revving up. For many of us, September signals book club season, author reading events and more.

Today I’d like to talk about book clubs.

Here at North Van City Library, we have a drop-in book club model. Every six weeks on a Wednesday evening from 7-8:30, from September – June, anyone is invited to drop in for a discussion on a particular book. The books and dates are listed on our website ahead of time, and are also printed on a book mark we give away to interested people. I also maintain an email list of approximately 80 participants who get reminders and follow-ups regarding meetings.

We decided to do it this way instead of offering a member-only group with a limited number of spots because we wanted to provide access to a book club experience to as many people as possible. Since the club started, we have had anywhere from 9 to 37 people come for a Wednesday evening discussion. When more than 10 show up, we break up into groups of 5-7 people. One person from each group volunteers to facilitate their group’s discussion with the list of topics and questions I provide, and then I float around to the different groups. I also ask the participants to bring their own topics and questions about the book to discuss in their group. At the end of the night, we gather together and each group’s facilitator gives a quick synopsis of the group’s discussion to everyone.

I love this model. It allows for different and interesting conversations to happen each meeting. It provides greater access to book clubs than the member-only model. People appreciate the flexibility of not having to commit to every single meeting. And community members get to meet new and interesting people each time, as well as connect with regulars.

We choose books by compiling a list of suggestions from participants and myself, then voting on them via an online poll in the spring. I try to always include at least two local authors who I can then invite to my local author series, which provides for nice synergy and cross pollination between the two programs.

There are downsides to this model, however. We still only have 12 copies of each title, which means I have to maintain a somewhat complex holds list within our ILS. It also can get a bit chaotic with several groups having sometimes lively discussions in a room that is quite large (cap. 120) but doesn’t have the best acoustics.

Overall, I think this model works well for us here at North Vancouver. What about you? How do you do book club? What suggestions do you have for how to make these types of groups better?

–Heidi Schiller, North Vancouver City Library (hschiller@cnv.org)