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Good afternoon list,

 

 

Thank you to everyone who responded to my query regarding library-facilitated book groups. I received responses from 5 academic libraries in total. As there were some expressions of interest, here are my findings:

 

 

How often does the group meet (or was it a one-off event)?

 

Most groups met close to monthly, although some were more occasional. One library reported that a one-off event proved popular enough to inspire plans for a semi-regular club going forwards, which is a good sign!

 

 

What was the reception like with students? How many members are there and were students involved at all in the set-up/organisation?

 

Libraries generally reported a very positive response from attendees, although some indicated that their club took a little work to get off the ground. Some also reported that book clubs have turned out to be more popular with staff than students. However, most appear to have developed a keen core membership.

 

In terms of setup, most groups started with involvement from students (either through discussion in the first meeting or by reaching out to campus groups in the planning phase) or faculty staff.

 

 

Do you provide copies of the books (and if so, is it out of your own budget?) or do you leave it to members to find their own copies?

 

Few libraries purchased copies out of their own budget, although one did. The other respondents tended to select titles where the library already had ownership of a handful of copies (for example, due to them being reading list items for a course).

 

One library reported that a number of copies were purchased with funding from a campus society to support their first session, which were given away for free – however not everyone who received a copy then turned up to the book club meeting!

 

 

What do you think was successful/not successful? Is there any other advice you think we should know?

 

One recurring theme was that book clubs were more successful where there was a specific focus, for example: events such as Black History Month; subject-specific groups; and groups reading publications from authors at their university.

 

Another recurring theme was offering hot drinks and biscuits! A couple of groups mentioned that this coincides well with holding meetings over the lunch period, which is when members tend to be both on-campus and free

 

Multiple libraries reported evidence of students engaging with the reading even if they weren’t coming to book group meetings

 

One library reported that after realising attendees often didn’t have time to read the books, they changed the format to a general discussion group around recent reading and interests, which proved to be more popular.

 

 

 

Thanks once again and good luck to those who are involved in similar projects!

 

 

Best regards,
Carmella

 

Carmella Lowkis

Resources Assistant

Resources & Technology | Paul Hamlyn Library | University of West London

St Mary's Road | Ealing | London | W5 5RF

T: 020 8231 2066 | E: [log in to unmask] | uwl.ac.uk

 

 

From: Carmella Lowkis
Sent: 04 January 2019 16:38
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Library-facilitated Book/leisure reading groups

 

Dear colleagues,

 

We’re considering setting up a library-facilitated book group for students here at UWL and would love to hear from anyone with experience doing something similar, either in the past or as a current project.

 

Some questions of particular interest:

 

1.       How often does the group meet (or was it a one-off event)?

2.       What was the reception like with students? How many members are there and were students involved at all in the set-up/organisation?

3.       Do you provide copies of the books (and if so, is it out of your own budget?) or do you leave it to members to find their own copies?

4.       What do you think was successful/not successful? Is there any other advice you think we should know?

 

I’m of course happy to compile answers and share with the list if there’s an interest. Thanks in anticipation of your help!

 

Best regards,

Carmella

 

Carmella Lowkis

Resources Assistant

Resources & Technology | Paul Hamlyn Library | University of West London

St Mary's Road | Ealing | London | W5 5RF

T: 020 8231 2066 | E: [log in to unmask] | uwl.ac.uk

 



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