Goldberg and Trott (2012) give a succinct overview of the history of libraries’ involvement in book clubs, with a focus on the role book clubs can play in readers advisory and in building community. Notable, perhaps, in the historical overview is the fact that many early book clubs in libraries supported marginalized groups — women in particular — and offered sites and spaces for these groups to discuss public issues. They note, in other words, a democratizing effect of the book clubs, as well as a supportive function for marginalized voices. This resonates with the stated goals of Real Lit[erature] at the University of Washington, Tacoma. Further of interest is their description of a non-fiction non-fiction book club on the Penn State Beaver campus: the ripple effect of hosting an author on student engagement (fundraising for the cause described in the book, writing papers for classes) was remarkable. They conclude with practical advice for campuses starting up, including marketing, collaboration, and other tips.
Book Clubs in Academic Libraries: A Case Study and Toolkit by Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman and Alaina C. Bull is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.