Presenters: Linda Dyndiuk, Robbins Library in Arlington, MA, Theresa Maturevich, Bedford (MA) Free Public Library, Sophie Smith, Nashua (NH) Public Library and Sean Thibodeau, Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell, MA.
Theresa’s Cookbook Book Club handout
Theresa’s Cookbook Book Club flyer
Sophie’s Adult Summer Reading PowerPoint
Sean’s Nonfiction Book Club poster
Sean’s Nonfiction Book Club ground rules
Linda runs the Not So Young Adult Book Group for adults who read YA lit.
- YA can be read quickly which is a plus for those with busy schedules
- Easy to run. They have a casual, informal discussion. Sometimes use discussion questions, but with YA books the questions provided are often more about reading comprehension
- Repeating programs increase membership month after month
- Group votes on titles and keeps running list of suggested titles.
- in local businesses at first but since attendees reported learning about it in library, they stopped that.
- Print bookmarks and put in books to remind people of meeting
- Post on blog about meeting and 1 reminder email beforehand
- Press releases to media, Facebook and Twitter
- 4-6 people for every meeting, but not the same people. Email list is 20 people. All 12 copies of book on reserve for group are checked out
- Attendee age varies from 20s-70s. Average is 30s.
Challenges: Wanted to get out of library and into community so they initially met at a local Starbucks. Talked to business first and chose a Monday night because it was a slow business night. When program was evaluated, it was decided to change venue to library due to noise and uncertainty of table availability. It was also realized that if they met in a public space, it would be harder to ask a member to leave should there be an issue.
Highlights: Had author Brendan Halpin come last year. Local paper ran a story which interviewed members- positive article about trend of reading YA, library, and program.
Theresa runs the Cookbook Book Club where participants read a cookbook and come in for a brief discussion of the book and a cooking demonstration on 2-3 recipes from the book.
- Idea came from reviewing circulation stats and seeing that cookbooks were one of the highest circulating nonfiction collections.
- Began with guest speakers to do cookie decorating and talk about being a chef, but now generally runs program alone
- Costs of program are paid by Friends. (breakdown in handout above)
- Additional cooking supplies like a portable stove and a convection oven also approved by Friends
- Attendance averages 24/program. Most popular programs were a chef visit, pies during winter holidays, cupcake decorating, and slow cookers
- Promoted on social media (Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest) as well as local media and in library
- Polls audience for future topics
Highlights:Improved circulation of cookbooks, positive impact on attendance at other programs and bringing in new patrons, Networking/community outreach opportunities
Sophie runs an Adult Summer Reading program
- Prizes/incentives are critical
- year 1: gift cards, an e-reader
- year 2: All entrants earned raffle ticket for grand prize. After 5 books, free book from book sale. 10 books, get a mug. 20 books, gift card for local coffee shop.
- Start simple. They used same software for online registration that was used for children and teen summer reading (Evanced)
- Ask adults to log books read, rate, review, etc. Reviews were available to others.
- Online system allowed for easy statistics
- Participants still had to come to library to pick up prizes
- For 2nd year, length of program was expanded
- Large numbers of 25-44 year olds. Primarily women joined.
- Of the small number who completed evaluations, the #1 reason to participate was prizes (so they improved prizes for year 2). #2 was to read more.
Sean has run a nonfiction book group for 3 years.
- Monthly attendance is 12-13 but can be as high as 35 depending on topic
- Try to get a mix of medical journalism, historical narrative (especially WII), and essay. They don’t do biographies/memoirs unless it’s very popular.
- They use a ballot process to vote on the books. 10 books on the list. Each person gets 2 votes and the top 2 vote getters are chosen for the next 2 months.Titles are dropped from ballot if no votes and also dropped from ballot if not chosen after four votes.
- Lots of men attend
- They needed to create ground rules about acceptable behavior. Group needs to agree on the rules
- Try to keep conversation organic but light.
- Tends not to use discussion questions.
- Set time limit of no more than one hour for program
- Name tags help
- Email list with ballot one week prior to meeting