PLA: Where Were the Book Group Sessions?

I’m just returned from the biannual PLA conference, held in Portland. There were dozens of great sessions on every reading topic imaginable. It was the rare chance to mix with the other Book Group Buzz bloggers–Kaite, Gary, Rebecca, and Mary Ellen were all there–as were Booklist’s other regulars.

If you’re a librarian and don’t go to PLA, put Philadelphia on your calendar in 2012. PLA is simply the best conference for public librarians. Although I noticed a lot more of us paying our own way to the conference this year, I don’t think anyone went home unhappy at the expenditure. It’s just a great place to recharge the batteries. There are still places at the table for any librarian who wants to contribute on the national level. If you’re willing to share your best practices, contribute writing, or otherwise participate, there is a community that will listen.

Unless I’m mistaken, however, one topic that went missing from all of those great sessions was any discussion or panel that centered on book groups. Given that there are few public libraries without book groups, this seems like an odd oversight. So, dear readers, I’d like your input: Are there any topics related to book groups which you think merit extra discussion? Please post comments! We’ll use your input both to inspire future conference proposals and to give us ideas for posts here on Book Group Buzz.



About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

3 Comments on "PLA: Where Were the Book Group Sessions?"

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  1. misha says:

    One good topic for 2010 would be how libraries may be trying new things–online, chat, etc. How are these online book groups working? What platforms are working best? And, in the push of trying to do new, sexy things, will we have to fight or make a case for more “traditional” in-person groups? Just some random thoughts…

  2.' Lillian says:

    I am a huge fan of book discussion groups. They are a powerful learning tool and the best way to engage the text. I too attended PLA and sorely missed presentations on book discussion groups, an essential element of public libraries. I think the ongoing book group discussion needs to be explored. One that meets weekly rather than monthly for a more in depth study of the text. I do know that an online book group discussion was attempted by the Great Books Foundation (Father of all book discussion groups) and failed miserably. More food for thought. . .

  3.' Lillian says:

    I enjoyed the genre RA panel at PLA. It was tops!

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