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“Free to the people” since 1895 Book Group Basics A presentation for the Allegheny County Library Association’s LSTA Shared Programming Grant March 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "“Free to the people” since 1895 Book Group Basics A presentation for the Allegheny County Library Association’s LSTA Shared Programming Grant March 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Free to the people” since 1895 Book Group Basics A presentation for the Allegheny County Library Association’s LSTA Shared Programming Grant March 2006

2 “Free to the people” since 1895 Your presenters  Joanne Dunmyre Librarian, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main First Floor and Reference Services  Karen Rossi Manager, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main First Floor

3 “Free to the people” since 1895 Book Group Basics  By the end of this workshop, you will be able to: Explain why people participate in book groups Begin a new book group Organize and facilitate a book group discussion Overcome the common stumbling blocks in book group discussions Use a book kit to enhance your book group discussion

4 “Free to the people” since 1895 Why do people join book groups?  Connectedness  Make new friends / kindred spirits  Surprises  New ideas / differing viewpoints  Enjoy tuition-free intellectual stimulation

5 “Free to the people” since 1895 Why do people join book groups?  Enjoy reading for fun – not school work  Escape from reality  Expand horizons, try different books  Food and treats  It’s not just about the book

6 “Free to the people” since 1895 Getting started: Marketing How will you publicize / market your book group?  Library website  Call / friends, co-workers, students  Ask them to bring a friend  Word of mouth  Distribute posters/flyers in library, at school, gym, community center, church, wherever people hang out  Join an existing library/bookstore group

7 “Free to the people” since 1895 Getting organized: The first meeting  Think about your expectations.  At the first meeting, ask the group: Why are they there? What are their expectations? What time / day is most convenient? How frequently do they want to meet? Where do they want to meet?

8 “Free to the people” since 1895 Selecting the titles  Characteristics of books that are good for discussion: Level of difficulty and length Controversial subject / edgy Author’s view of an important truth Literary style Three-dimensional characters Ambiguous ending It’s okay if everyone doesn’t like the book.

9 “Free to the people” since 1895 Resources for selecting titles  Booklists  Library websites  Word of mouth  Reviews  Readers’ advisory resources  Award winners  Oprah, Today Show, USA Today book clubs

10 “Free to the people” since 1895 Themes are optional  Education  Historical fiction  Coming of age  Pittsburgh  Memoirs  Banned books  Contemporary literary fiction  Classic & contemporary novels  Award winners  Mysteries  Books to movies

11 “Free to the people” since 1895 What is the role of the group leader?  Facilitator vs. expert lecturer / booktalker  Book kit / discussion materials  Food  Next month’s book

12 “Free to the people” since 1895 Common stumbling blocks and how to overcome them What to do if:  There are major disagreements. Establish guidelines. There is no right or wrong in the art of literary interpretation. We share our explorations and thoughts. Avoid pomposity. Leave egos at the door!

13 “Free to the people” since 1895 Overcoming stumbling blocks What to do if:  The discussion drags. Prepare many questions. You probably won’t use all of them, but it’s better to have more than you need. Ask the group to think about the 3 things they want to be sure we talk about. Invite new people to the group.

14 “Free to the people” since 1895 Overcoming stumbling blocks What to do if:  Someone monopolizes. Sit beside not across from the monopolizer. Say, “Thanks for your contributions. Let’s hear from someone else now.” Raising your hand worked pretty well at school.

15 “Free to the people” since 1895 Overcoming stumbling blocks What to do if:  Someone never contributes. If someone is fully engaged, but speaks only occasionally, there may be no need to do anything about it. Get to know them better in conversational time before or after group discussion. Try to find opportunities to draw them out. Respect their silence. Some speak a lot, some don’t.

16 “Free to the people” since 1895 Overcoming stumbling blocks What to do if:  Participants didn’t read the book. May be extenuating circumstances for one or two months. Be flexible and use your own judgment.  Attendance drops or disappears. More marketing / recruiting Contact former participants. Take a break for a few months, then start again.

17 “Free to the people” since 1895 Overcoming stumbling blocks  Group Dynamics 101  Diplomacy works  If necessary, discuss guidelines for group discussions.  If necessary, speak directly to the individual.

18 “Free to the people” since 1895 Book Group Basics  It’s not just about the book!

19 “Free to the people” since 1895 Book kits  Tools for discussion leaders

20 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Biographies Literature Resource Center Can also lead to interviews and reviews

21 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Biographies Biography Reference Bank

22 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Biographies Can also lead to interviews and reviews

23 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Interviews Ebsco Host – Masterfile, MAS online, Newspaper Source Can also lead to reviews

24 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Book Reviews

25 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Reviews

26 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Reviews

27 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Reviews

28 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Discussion Questions

29 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Discussion Questions Novelist

30 “Free to the people” since 1895 Searching for Discussion Questions Publisher websites

31 “Free to the people” since 1895 Additional Information

32 “Free to the people” since 1895 Book Kits Online

33 “Free to the people” since 1895 Sources for Book Kits List of the primary sources we use to develop book kits can be found online: howtobgc.html

34 “Free to the people” since 1895 Book Group Basics  This presentation can be found online at /rossi/index.html

35 “Free to the people” since 1895 Your presenters  Joanne Dunmyre  Karen Rossi


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