I have been giving a version of my "Recharge Your Book Club" program for 15 years now. It is the oldest of my training programs. The other day I was looking back at what I said to my students during the book discussion meeting of my graduate class back in 2004 and I was surprised by how much has changed. Don't get me wrong, the core of what we do in book club and why we do it hasn't changed, but the ways in which we meet, how we interact, where we meet, what we discuss, and who we discuss it with is very different.
Here is a great example. Back in 2005 when I provided a training for my local library system on leading better book discussions, which included a book discussion, I was approached after by a participant who was "shocked" that I shared my opinions as part of the discussion. I would argue that it is pretty standard now for the leader to participate. My how things have changed.
Here is a link to the newest incarnation of my Recharge Your Book Club [as of publication for this post; for the most up to date at your time of reading, please use the tag "book discussion books."]
Speaking of change, my publisher, ALA Editions, recently released a great book entitled Book Club Reboot: 71 Creative Twists by Sarah Ostman and Stephanie Saba.
The table of contents gives you a really good sense of what to expect:
Chapter 1 Change of SceneryChapter 2 Find a PartnerChapter 3 Unite People with Common InterestsChapter 4 Make It Easy for ThemChapter 5 Meet a NeedChapter 6 Target Your AudienceChapter 7 Get QuirkyChapter 8 Encourage ActivismChapter 9 Meet Them Where They AreChapter 10 Short on TimeChapter 11 Put It OnlineChapter 12 Get Them Meeting at an Early AgeI know a few of the library workers who the authors have highlighted in this book, and they are doing great work. I am excited to read it and get even more inspiring ideas. I will be adding this book as a must read resource to my Recharge Your Book Club presentations also.
Ostman and Saba are presenting on this new book at ALA Annual. Here are the details of that session:
I have it in my scheduler and I plan to be there to hear them. Obviously if I am there, I will take notes and share them with all of you on Twitter and here on the blog.
But in the meantime, you can take the concepts identified ion the ToC and pair them with my Recharge Your Book Club slides to get started on thinking about how you are going to improve your services to your book discussion groups ASAP.
There are very few things we do at the library that are as rewarding as running book clubs. They are also some of our most challenging things too.
Don't forget that ARRT is also always here for you and your book discussion group, no matter where you live, with our on going Book Club Study. Visit the home page here and access detailed notes of both our book discussions and leadership trainings. We even have a brand new volume 2 list of our popular, crowd sourced, Under the Radar titles for your book club. These are proven winners you might not have thought about. Click here for the older list. Click here for the newer one. And while you are at it, click here to access all of the original ARRT bibliographies.