My first time running Guys Read all by myself!

Posted: February 28, 2012 in Uncategorized
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I recently took over running a book club for teen boys at one of the libraries where I work.  Yesterday was my first time running the book club by myself!  This month, we read Everlost by Neil Shusterman and I loved the book, but got nervous that maybe they teens would think it didn’t have enough action in it and wouldn’t like it.

But they loved it!  They had even all already gone out and read the sequel and asked about the third book in the series (which we, by some mishap, only own on audiobook, which I promptly took care of as soon as the book club was over).  They also stayed on topic the whole time (which does not really happen with this group, or so I’ve heard, this is only my second month running it) and had so many smart and wonderful things to say.  They actually even touched on most of my prepared discussion questions without my even having to ask them.  We had this great discussion that was the perfect combination of silly and thought provoking and it made me feel really good to be able to run this group on my own.

None of us actually knew when the group was over–I assumed they knew and would tell me when it was time to go and I guess they assumed I knew.  We were having so much fun that we stayed at least a half hour later than we were supposed to and didn’t leave until someone’s parent came in to take their kid home.  I’m actually still not sure when it was supposed to end, I guess we don’t really list that anywhere but I should probably figure that out for next time.

While I was at the OLA Superconference, I attended this workshop about running book clubs for teen boys.  I think I was actually the only one there who runs a book club for teen boys (the presenters had started a group at their school (they were school librarians) and were really involved in promoting them, but they were both women and had chosen male staff members to actually lead the book clubs) and I had just taken over at that point.  I got a few good ideas from the workshop, though, and it was great to get to put them into practice a little.

I really can’t wait to have my own teen librarian position so I can run more teen book clubs.  I am really interested in running an LGBTQ teen book club some day, which is the major reason I really hope to find a job in an urban public library rather than a suburban one, since I’m not sure that would fly or be well attended in most suburban public libraries with which I am familiar.  I just really love interacting with teens like this–talking about books with them, hearing all the smart and exciting and weird things they have to say about the books and also trying to say the little things that will spark their minds to take it a little further.

Anyway, it just felt good to do this.  I have run tons of teen programs on my own before, but most of them have been stuff more along the lines of gaming or anime club or chess club where there is not really much I have to do once I’ve set everything up.  It was fun and challenging to run a program on my own with the teens where I’m facilitating the discussion.  It was also cool because it was at the library where I don’t actually know the teens as well, so it’s fun to get to know them.

  1. jess s says:

    This is so great. My kid goes to a “book review club” through his high school. I believe the librarian is the sponsoring faculty member. He gets a lot out of it, even though they don’t all read the same book. It is wonderful how much kids get out of talking about books.

    • Jackson says:

      aw. It is so refreshing when teens actually read books for fun and get excited to talk about them. It’s crazy because one of the teens was complaining about this other teen he said was “just in it for the free book” and I thought, any teen who is “in it for the free book” is probably a pretty okay kid.

  2. Lisa.jane says:

    this is AWESOME, Jack!!! I’m glad it’s going so well!

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