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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Making a Book Discussion Your Own via ILA Reporter

In the most recent issue of the ILA Reporter there is a great article by one of our ARRT Book Club Study members, Allison Bies, about how to get the most out of your library book discussion groups.

She talked to library workers from across the area and used her own experiences to create a resource that is more about how to cultivate the group itself rather than focusing on the selection and discussion nuts and bolts-- information that is sorely needed.

I hear from book group facilitators, constantly, about how hard it is to manage and shape their groups in general. It is one of the reasons I spend so much more time in my book discussion presentations talking about "group dynamics," over leading the discussion itself.

It is also one of the reasons we have shaped the ARRT Book Club Study as both a chance to for book club leaders to participate in a discussion AND make sure we have time to all discuss leadership challenges with each other; it's a support group for book discussion leaders. Speaking of the ARRT Book Club Study, thanks to Bies for the shout out to the group ing her piece.

Below is the start of the article with a link to read it for free. Also, pass it on to your colleagues who lead book clubs.

Making a Book Discussion Your Own

September 27, 2019
Allison Bies, Schaumburg Township District Library
Three years ago, the Fiction Department at the Schaumburg Township District Library encountered a situation that is certainly not unique to us. How does a book discussion facilitator navigate a smooth transition for a group that has already been established? This could occur as a result of organizational, personnel, or scheduling changes. In our case, we became responsible for facilitating several well-attended groups comprised of long-term participants who held deep affinity for the previous facilitators. The following observations became clear after navigating three cycles with two monthly discussion groups and connecting with library staff members from other libraries in similar situations:

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