We identified 40 book groups within a set of 142 universities. Of these, we were only able to positively identify 4 as exclusively fiction-based: University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Science Fiction Book Club, Wake Forest University’s Graphic Novel Book Club, Washington State University Spokane’s Interprofessional Book Club, and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis’ Special Collections Book Club. Additional information was limited for this small dataset of 4, but at least 2 of them were in partnership between the university libraries and another organization (student engagement in one case and a bookstore in the other).
While we realize that our data set is not exhaustive, and limited to book clubs with web presence that met our search parameters, we can say with some confidence that fiction-based book clubs in academic libraries that are co-sponsored with other campus units are not currently prevalent in the United States.
It would be interesting to see how this trend played out internationally.
If you run a book club and you are interested in having it represented in our survey results, please contact the authors. This document is published open access, and we are happy to make and document relevant revisions as they arise. These revisions will be clearly noted and dated.