By November 16, 2010 2 Comments Read More →

Other genre groups

Last week, I wondered about paranormal book discussions.  Now I’m thinking about the multitude of other possibilities.

This library in Wisconsin has a military/political group, as well as a spiritual group.

Naturally, starting a themed group depends on whether or not you have the community of readers interested in such a group.  But how do you know they are out there?  Some of these folks might not be interested in a traditional literary book group, so they might not ever voice their opinion to you.

Any thoughts on how to get a specialty group started?  I suppose, you could start anything you wanted and see who shows up… but that’s not really practical, since it often takes a while for a group to get momentum and to “jell”.  I’m thinking that a patron survey would be useful here?

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About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

2 Comments on "Other genre groups"

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  1. atodd@phpl.info' Alex says:

    Twelve years ago, my first library job was at a library that had just one book club – one dedicated to Afrian-American themes and authors. I was tasked with broadening our offerings and decided to do the splatter test – throw several against a wall and see what sticks. We decided on our themes based largely on what library staff was interested in leading. We ended up with Classics (all the books you didn’t read in high school but should have), Mysteries, Romance and Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

    The last time I visited that library (2-3 years ago), the Romance and Classics clubs were still going strong. Well, the classics had evolved into a more contemporary fiction group, but the core membership was the same.

    At my current library, when we underwent a remodling, two service desks were consolidated into one, giving us the opportunity to expand our discussion group offerings. I approached the staff member I thought would make strong leaders and asked about what type of club they envisioned. They came up with ideas that were truly unique – an international book club, centered around the immigrant experience, and edible book club where every book is related to food (and the leader and members each make a recipe from the book for a pot luck discussion) and a movie discussion group.

    I warned each leader that it would take time to grow and establish itself and said that each would have six months to prove itself. All three are still rolling two years later and still growing their ranks.

  2. Rebecca Vnuk says:

    Alex, thank you so much for sharing your experiences!

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