Developing Book Clubs – Teen Girls

I’ve already talked a little bit about how I’ve gone about revamping our library’s boys’ book club – read about that here.

For the teen girl book club, I’ve had to do a little more plotting. I’ve been able to connect easier with the guys, because I’m pretty geeky and share a lot of interests with our boys, but I have fewer points of contact with the girls.  We’re friendly but it’s a work in progress, so my big task here was to come up with a hook that they’d find intriguing.  I started by asking if it would be ok if I held meetings in one of our two study rooms, since that tends to be the place where the girls congregate – my theory was that if I set up shop where they are, I might get an audience for the first meeting just out of the curiosity of me being there.  Being based in the study room also gives me the opportunity to offer some illicit incentives, as food is not allowed in our study room and book clubs usually involve snacks.

I’m keeping my structure for picking materials loose, in order to invite lots of input from attendees. I’m picking our first book (I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter) but I’m also bringing a box (decorated with colorful wrapping paper) to take suggestions. Depending on how many I get, we’ll either vote on them or I’ll pick from their suggestions.

I’m also turning over in my head the idea of incorporating social media into the club – inviting them to instagram their reading experiences, which I could pull up to use as discussion points. I’m trying to get the teens to use our instagram account more often ANYWAY, so two birds with one stone, and all that. We’ll see.

I started this entry a while ago but haven’t gotten around to posting, which is kind of good because I just got word that I might be getting some ARC support from Penguin Random House for this club!  I definitely think being able to offer free books to the girls will be a good incentive for them to participate, since many of our teens either don’t have cards or can’t use their library cards presently. I’m in the process of setting this up through a bookstore rep that my library has a relationship with, so hopefully it will pan out!