Monday, 12 May 2008

On reading groups

I don't know how your library's reading groups work, but ours are led by librarians. They meet every four weeks, and everyone turns up having read the same book. We also have reading circles, which have more of a free-for-all vibe.

There's one school of thought that says staff should leave RGs to get on with it themselves. Our reasoning is that it gives staff an opportunity - guaranteed - to talk to library users about what they've been reading, what they'd like to read, and how we can improve our stock and service. It works reasonably well, offering a decent return on the hour and a half we put into each session.

I'm running a reading group this evening, which is my first "proper" one. I've run the graphic novel group, but that's relatively easy: I just need to get them talking about Marvel Zombies and I'm away. Tonight's group will be discussing Memoirs of a Geisha. This is doubly problematic for me: not only is it not the sort of thing I'd normally read, but I haven't read it at all as all of our copies have been given out to the group.

Darn.

It's a bit like being an English lit undergrad again: I'll have to wing it, having not read the set text. The Monday group is apparently quite chatty, so it should be fine...