A Librarian’s Book Club

We all know about book clubs!  We run them, are part of them, and encourage others to join them.  So I thought I would share how we are using a book club to move our program forward.

So it begins…

First, let me start by saying that I work with three fabulous librarians: Carol Keeler (@ckeels6), Cheri Dobbs (@CheriDobbs), and Amy Runyan (@RunyanAmy). About four years ago, we were preparing our summer reading recommendations. We discussed that there were many books that we were recommending that we had not actually read (eek!).  So we challenged each other to read one or more books from each list during the summer.  We have four schools, so there were four lists. Then we met and discussed what we had read. It was great to share books that I may never have read otherwise. We had a wonderful discussion and decided to do it again, but for another purpose.

And then…

After reading a blog posting about giving the gift of books for the holidays, we decided to do a version of it ourselves by creating a video of books that we would recommend. Again, we wanted to have read the books we were suggesting. So for the second book club, we read books of our choice at various reading levels including adult titles. These books needed to be published within the last year or two.  We compiled our list and here is an example of one of the videos.


What it has become…

We now met twice a year, usually in November and July. We would love to do it more, but time is always a challenge. We have developed Pinterest Boards to share all the recommendations we have made. This has become a great resource to share with parents when they are looking for books to read at home. We just keep adding to these boards so there are older titles as well as new ones. For some extra fun, we are all participating in a 2016 Reading Challenge. We decided to try to have completed the challenge by the time we meet this summer!

The beauty of it…

This book club keeps reading as a focus for me. Our jobs have so many elements that I did not always make time to read. Now I make time for it! It has forced me to branch out and try some different types of literature as well. Even though I was working from a list, I still had choice in what I wanted to read. That choice is what makes it so fun! It is interesting to me that we talk about the power of choice for our students all the time, but this club was when I felt the impact of choice for myself. My colleagues and I do not share what books we plan to read ahead of time, but many times we end up reading the same ones and it leads to great discussion. Usually, there are books I hear about that I then go and read on my own. I am always looking for books that would be a great fit for the age group I teach, but now I am paying more attention to books at a variety of levels. My overall knowledge of children and young adult literature has grown immensely, which in turn makes me better at my job. Best of all when we are making recommendations we have read the books and not just heard about them! And that benefits everyone!


Anne. (2015, December, 29). The 2016 reading challenge [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://modernmrsdarcy.com/2016-reading-challenge/.


Author: Kelly Hincks

I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration

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