By February 4, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Success with Twentysomethings

At a recent meeting of the Adult Reading Round Table Quarterly Literary Fiction Book Discussion group, the talk turned to the problems some discussion leaders have been experiencing when they try to attract readers in the ever elusive 20-30 age group.  Others in the group shared their success stories in persuading the “twentysomethings” to participate, mentioning two key factors:  schedule the meetings outside the library at a spot where these individuals typically gather and feel comfortable, such as a Starbuck’s — or even a bar; and communicate with them via the library’s web site (to announce the programs) and e-mail (to send reminders).

One librarian told how she used “chick lit” to attract a group of young female readers — and the size of the circle swelled to 25 members over time, as she started off with lighter offerings and then “moved up,” so to speak, to more substantial authors, such as Marian Keyes.  This same librarian recently designed a “One Book, One Village” reading program around the best seller Three Cups of Tea and remarked that one of her most successful sessions was also held off site, in a tea shop!  The proprietor of the shop was so impressed with the turnout (and the discussion) that she volunteered to bring tea to the library for future discussions.  For those of us who enjoy a spot of  tea with our conversations about books, it’s hard to beat an offer like that!

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About the Author:

Ted Balcom lives in Arlington Heights, IL and conducts workshops on leading book discussions, about which he has also published a book: Book Discussions for Adults: A Leader’s Guide (American Library Association, 1992).

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