The Book Club Hub

Among the many varied services that the library offers the community is a book club service. First launched in May 2009 with a select range of 20 titles, the service has developed to now provide local book clubs access to a range of 75 titles. The service was based on the successful Great Lakes Shire Library model and from 6 member clubs in 2009, has grown to 21 active clubs in 2014, with more joining regularly.

To begin with not much was known about any local book groups but after receiving feedback from various newspaper advertisements and making contact with the local Book Warehouse book shop the potential of the service was realised. Whilst much of the local book group culture was quite hidden, the library provided a valued resource and useful avenue for clubs to find new members and to develop new clubs. The library also maintains a special web page entitled the Book Club Hub on its website to promote the service.

The very first book group to take advantage of the new library service was the Glenreagh Book Club with approximately fifteen members. Emerald Beach, Tree Frogs, Woolgoolga Book Discussion Group, Book and Garden, and The Reading Group soon followed as the inaugural members. The average group size is ten members. However, as more clubs have emerged and grown in popularity, some clubs have grown to twenty or more members.

Initially, a condition of membership to the book club service was the provision of 6-10 copies of a title approved by the library’s book club service coordinator. Since July 2013 this has changed to a condition that member book clubs provide an annual $100 subscription fee which the library uses to purchase selected titles for the kits. The library’s various book clubs have welcomed this simpler arrangement and the quality of the material, demonstrated in the statements below:

“The book club service is much appreciated by our members and we are getting a lot of joy with having access to such a wide range of interesting and quality readings.”

“Several members have discussed the service with friends and family from other places. They are in envy of our resource and we commend you for your continued efforts.”

The book club service was launched with twenty kits and now provides over 75 kits. Each of the kits contains 10 copies, plus a DVD if available, of a particular title which the library considers to be of value and interest for book club discussions. Approximately three-quarters of the titles are contemporary adult fiction, including award winners. The remaining kits provide a range of general interest adult non-fiction and biographies. Each kit is provided with a reading guide, including question and answer discussion points.

The library’s book club service continues to grow as more book clubs emerge throughout the region.


Written by Jessie Kane


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