Book clubs are one of the intersections between collection development and programming. There are an infinite number of ways to organize a book club in a school or public library, and it’s interesting to see the various ways that they operate. Ever wanted to start a teen book club at your library? Check out what several of us at The Hub have to say about ours!
- What was the impetus behind starting a teen book club at your library?
Dawn: Our library hasn’t had a book club for youth/teens in a very long time. We of course have a lot of readers, so why not.
Sarah: I am a Middle School and High School librarian and my MS students are HUGE readers. They often suggest books to me and are happy to talk about books with one another and me. The 5th and 6th grade literature teachers and I all promote, book talk, and are eager to support reading so there was an obvious audience.
Jennifer: This is the second book club I have inherited! For my current library our Teen Advisory Board asked to start up the group before I started in this position. Although based on the number of folks who attend meetings but have not read (or even checked out) the book, I think that maybe they just wanted another chance to come and talk.
Traci: I inherited my book group from the previous teen librarian, but I’ve been here for 8 years now, so I think I can safely say it’s definitely my book group now! My book groupers are so passionate about reading and talking about books, so I’m thrilled to give them the ability to do so.
Diana: I also inherited a teen book group from a previous teen librarian, but as the teens began to hit junior or senior year of high school, they began to stop coming. It was harder to recruit new teens after the original set of core teens were aging out of the group. Thus, we took a break, but after some discussion, we are bringing back a teen book club in the spring. Currently, my library (out of 5 locations) is the only one to offer a teen book club. We also opened up the age group to 6th-12th grade (so junior high and high school could be represented).
Emily: Our Teen Book Club was started to expand programming and spark more interest with teens in the community.
Molly: There was resistance from the youth services manager years ago when we first began our book club because they thought it wouldn’t be a program that teens would attend. If it hadn’t been for a a core group of regular teen patrons who were lobbying for one, we never would have started. It’s been going for 5 years now, and this group will be seniors next year. While others have attended a few meetings over the years, it’s mostly been the original group. I think these book clubs (like many programs) will be most successful when they are teen driven and something that they want. There’s no reason to feel like you have to have a book club if it’s not the most valuable program for the teens you serve.