By April 19, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Promoting Book Clubs While Highlighting Resources

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library, where I lead a book discussion group every month, has created a resource area for book discussion leaders, both those who conduct programs in the library and library patrons who lead groups composed of friends and neighbors.

Twenty reference books containing helpful information of great interest to discussion leaders are displayed face out on a wall located near the library’s online catalog.  Among these titles are two by fellow “Book Group Buzz” bloggers — Read On — Fantasy Fiction; Reading Lists for Every Taste, by Neil Hollands, and Read ‘Em Their Writes; a Handbook for Mystery and Crime Fiction Book Discussions, by Gary Warren Niebuhr.

Also in this area is a display of eye-catching posters that promote the library’s upcoming discussions, as well as a series of bookmarks — one for each of the library’s seven book groups, listing titles, discussion dates, and locations.  There are also “read-alike” bookmarks related to popular authors such as Stieg Larsson and Kathryn Stockett, whose books have been featured in recent discussion programs.

Last, but not least — once discussion books have been used by the library’s groups, they are loaned (in sets of ten or more copies) to patrons who head up their own book clubs.  A list of available titles, organized by genre, is offered for patrons to pick up and peruse when planning their future discussions.

Cool idea, huh?  Perhaps other libraries with patrons who are especially interested in discussion groups would want to try something like this.

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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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