Tuesday, January 23, 2018

How Do You Book Group?

Find links to many of the presentations here
On Saturday, I attended a one day professional development sponsored by the Louisiana Association of School Librarians. I really enjoyed it and got some great ideas to use in my library.

For my presentation at this event, I chose to talk about an activity that is relatively low tech. Technology is exciting. I love learning new ways to use it in the library, but I also don't want to concentrate on tech and not spread the word about the merits of reading and finding great books. I have three book groups that I run in my library. The middle school group meets monthly, but the other two groups for older students meet every week. It can be exhausting but also exhilarating. We have had some amazing discussions. I want to tell you now that you don't have to run a book group where every student in the group reads the same book. It can be very freeing once you decide to break the mold of book groups.

Another big aspect of all of my book groups is to have the students connect with authors. Each group has at least one virtual author visit a year. It might be more if the opportunity arises. I also encourage students to attend author presentations that are scheduled around town after school or on the weekends. I have taken students to meet authors at the annual Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, ALA when it is in New Orleans (Annual is here for 2018), local bookstores, and to other schools hosting authors. This to me is a crucial piece to the puzzle of sharing books and reading to the members of my groups. 

My goals for these book groups include: 
1. Getting students excited about a variety of books, genres, and authors
2. Having great discussions, even if they are off the topic of books
3. Having a good time so the members want to attend the meetings
4. Building a community of like-minded students

That really is not so difficult. Sometimes I plan ahead for the meetings like when I have planned a virtual author visit. Sometimes I just wing it with a topic that comes to me right before the meeting is to start. The high school students don't have time to read a book every week, but they love meeting weekly. So we do. With the middle school, we alternate months between all reading the same book with all reading the same genre or theme. It works for us and maybe it could work for you too. 

Here are the slides that I used for my presentation. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. 

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing the slides from your presentation about the book clubs you run in your library. I'm inspired to try hosting a book club for students one day.

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    Replies
    1. I love running my book groups. They are definitely the high point of my day. Good luck!

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