8 Steps for Starting a Book Club at Your Local Library
Starting a local library book club is an excellent way to bring in more traffic to the local library. You might also be able to gain privileges with the library, like using nice conference rooms to meet or first access to new books.
These are 8 steps you should follow to start a book club at the library.
- Identifying the right place
The first step is to choose a nearby library with a conference room. Most public libraries will have one that is open to the public. Check with the library if a book club already meets there, because some libraries do not want more than one book club on its premises. Even if they allow it, you should be aware that if people in the area are already in a book club, they may not wish to join yours also.
- Find out the location requirements
Once you’ve chosen the right place, you need to fill out the appropriate paperwork with the library. This may not be lengthy or complicated but at a minimum, they will probably ask you to review the rules and sign your understanding. You should also confirm with them if you’re allowed to have refreshments in the conference room.
- Figure out the details
The next step is to figure out what sort of books you’ll be reading. Do you want your book club to be focused on a certain genre or
age group, or is it more flexible? This is also the time to decide how often you want to meet. Kendra Fraser, a writer at Academized.com and Paperfellows.com, says that “book clubs typically meet once a month because this gives the members enough time to read the book, and it doesn’t overwhelm the library’s resources.
You also need to determine the day to meet, preferably a weekday which is easier for most people. Depending on your age group, consider if it should be in the daytime or the evening.”
- Identify your group size
You need to know how many people you want in a group. You’ll want at least 3 to 5 members to have a real discussion at the meeting, but it shouldn’t be bigger than 12 to 15 people or some members won’t be able to speak.
Advertise your book club by sharing the basic information you’ve decided on and your contact information. Place your advertisement at the library, and on its website. Consider putting the advertisement in the paper as well.
- Recruit members you know
A suggestion from Sally Verdun, a book blogger at Assignment Writing Service and State Of Writing, is to “speak to people you know in your social circle, especially if you know they love reading.” Ask them to spread the word to their friends too. Speak with parents, church group, or at the local bookstore or literary events in your neighborhood.”
- Choose the books
Select books that are available at the library because it’s much easier to borrow the book than buying it. Make sure you’re picking a book that is popular enough to have the right number of copies for all your members but won’t be checked out all the time.
Consider having a deal with the library, which will benefit all parties involved. Choose books that are complex enough to generate discussion, can be controversial or raise key issues or themes.
- Have a discussion
It wouldn’t be a book club without a good discussion. Come with open-ended questions prepared and ask questions that encourage people to share their opinions and explain why they felt that way. Ask members to bring in discussion questions.