We initially identified three major stakeholders (Students, Library, collaborative Campus Units) as audiences for this kind of programming, but quickly realized that there was expressed need from staff and faculty on campus to participate as well.

Below we describe these stakeholders on our campus.



UW Tacoma’s diverse student body includes a broad range of ethnic and family backgrounds, ages, interests and experience. More than 80 percent of students transfer to UW Tacoma from one of the many community colleges in the area or from other universities. Freshmen from high schools all over the Puget Sound and beyond make up a growing portion of students. Add to the mix students who are returning to school after years away, military personnel and their families, and professionals working on new career goals. Our students create a kaleidoscope of perspectives crucial to learning. [1]

UW Tacoma students are primarily non-traditional — that is, not the traditional age of college bound students. Many hold jobs while attending school, and have other obligations (such as family) that puts significant stressors on their time.

The implications of this for a book club is simply that there is little time for student extra-curricular activity.  We thus actively had to consider in which ways to motivate students to attend.


Faculty and Staff

UW Tacoma has a faculty of 347 as of Autumn 2018, with a 16:1 faculty-student ratio on campus.[2]

According to the UW Tacoma Staff Association Bylaws, the staff on campus consists of classified staff (full or part-time, permanent or temporary); of professional staff (full or part-time, permanent or temporary); and of librarians (full or part-time, permanent or temporary).  For the purpose of this toolkit, it is important to note that the hourly staff have barriers on their time that allow for less flex-time than faculty.



The mission of the UW Tacoma Library is to help our students, faculty and staff achieve their goals. We accomplish this through exceptional services, resources, spaces, and technologies. We work at a systemic level integrating with the university’s curriculum and pedagogy, engaging in contemporary processes of scholarly communication, amplifying the reach of our faculty’s research, and by building partnerships within and beyond the university.[3]

Currently, the UW Tacoma Library employs 17 staff (8 librarians, 2 professional staff, and 8 classified staff), with the potential for growth as the campus expands.  It also employs 19 student workers (4 graduate student positions, 15 undergraduate positions).

It has only been recently that library staffing has been filled, if not to a sustainable level, then to one which allows for the integration of programming into the library (beyond meeting basic service needs).

Other Campus Units

We collaborated primarily with the UW Tacoma Center for Equity and Inclusion:

In conjunction with UW Tacoma’s diversity statement, the Center for Equity & Inclusion aims to enhance campus education, develop community partnerships, and cultivate our diverse campus community.  We strive to foster our diverse learners education and transform communities through a welcoming and inclusive space, programming, and resources for students, staff and faculty, in efforts to engage and learn through the exploration of human differences.[4]

The Center for Equity and Inclusion hosts a conversation about community issues called “Real Talk”.  We wanted to indicate the affinity between that dialogue and the one for the book club, and thus drew on extant branding.

It is noteworthy that there have been several staffing shifts at the Center for Equity and Inclusion, including during the pilot of Real Lit[erature].  These did not, however, substantively affect the way in which the book club operated.


At your library and campus:

Who are the stakeholders on your campus? Think about what campus units and/or community partnerships you can harness to work collaboratively. Are there extant community conversations happening that have recognizable branding that you can use to create visibility?




  1. " About the University of Washington Tacoma," University of Washington Tacoma, accessed January 15, 2019,
  2. “UW Tacoma 2018-2019 Facts,” University of Washington Tacoma, accessed January 15, 2019,
  3. “About the Library,” University of Washington Tacoma, accessed January 15, 2019,
  4. “Center for Equity and Inclusion,” University of Washington Tacoma, accessed January 15, 2019,


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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.

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