PLA Wrap-Up: Let’s Discuss Book Discussions

Rebecca Vnuk of Booklist, Lucy Lockley of Missouri’s St. Charles City-County Library District and I led a discussion at the recent PLA in Indianapolis called “Let’s Discuss Book Discussions.” Over 100 librarians attended on a Friday afternoon late in the conference and seemed to be bursting with ideas and questions. It was a good discussion, but I’m afraid we only had time to navigate the tip of the proverbial iceberg in our hour-long session.

There were lots of good questions that we had to give quick answers: how to deal with the problematic participant; how to freshen up a group that’s gone stale; and how to find more readers for small library groups, particularly that elusive book group species, the male reader. There are many good posts about these topics that you can find in the archives of Book Group Buzz, but the session was a reminder that perhaps it is time to revisit questions of procedure. I’ll be doing much more of that over the coming months, so stay tuned.

In the meanwhile, please enjoy the handout from our session, which summarizes many good resources and provides help in all aspects of book group leadership.



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).

1 Comment on "PLA Wrap-Up: Let’s Discuss Book Discussions"

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  1. Shelley says:

    It’s not great literature, but I wonder if John Sandford might appeal to men–and he writes fairly respectfully of women, no egregious description of their appearance, etc.

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