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Creating a community book group in your area


What is a community book group?

Community book groups are run in community settings such as youth centres, wellbeing groups and libraries.

Book groups are beneficial to the community and to an organisation for a number of reasons. They provide an additional inexpensive and popular activity for your setting; they create a space to read for pleasure which is beneficial for wellbeing; and help to connect isolated members of the community.

Have a look at some books one of our current book groups have been reading:

How do community book groups work?

Community book groups are generally set up and facilitated by a member of staff or a volunteer from the organisation, rather than developed by beneficiaries, as this helps to ensure that someone is in a leadership role from the start.

Book groups are usually hosted once a week at the same time and participants have an hour or so discussion of a chapter of the chosen book that they read at home. The facilitators will have needed to have read the book themselves, or have a question for the group ready which is relevant to the book/chapter to kick off the discussion. More information about topics for discussion can be found in the resource document below.

How do I set one up?

If you want to set up your own book group you need to sign up as a literacy champion (if you are not one already!) and once you have completed your training you just need to email Laura Michelangeli and express your interest.

Remember to consider these questions:

  • Where and when will I host my book group- is there a good time for everybody eg: after work?
  • Who will be the staff member/volunteer in charge of facilitating the book group?
  • Who will be the people that will use the book group – is it for a specific group only or is it advertised publicly?
  • Should the book group have a theme to make it relevant for its audience eg: books written by women, books with black main characters etc.?
  • How will I make the book group a welcoming place to be – providing teas and coffee, time at the start to catch up on each other’s lives, etc.?

Download the community book group resource for more important information.

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