The Wednesday Night Book Discussion on Facebook
You can build a vibrant and loyal book club without ever meeting in person. At the Medina County (OH) District Library, we’ve cultivated a terrific book group on our Facebook page. We call it the Wednesday Night Book Discussion.
About five years ago, our library system was actively growing our social media presence. When we posted book recommendations or asked a simple question like, “What are you reading this weekend?” our followers responded enthusiastically. Other libraries had had success with online book chats, but we didn’t want to limit the discussion to just one book. Instead, we decided to post at the same time every week and ask what everyone was reading.
For the first year, we averaged 30 posts per week in the hour between 9 and 10 pm. Some nights, only a handful of people posted, but we found that the “reach” of our Wednesday Night Book Discussion kept growing over the next two to three days. As people visited our Facebook page and scrolled through our posts, they saw all the titles our followers were reading.
Slowly and steadily, our following has grown. Loyal readers post week after week, and each Wednesday we have new people participating. We sometimes give away ARCs of new books coming out, or a tote bag from a conference, or every now and then a gift card. Our reach is now over 3000 every single week, and some nights as many as 200 readers join in. People comment on each other’s posts, and it’s exciting to see a book that one person recommends coming back a few weeks later with another positive review.
Evaluate your social media presence to see what kind of posts, tweets, or snaps bring out your readers, than give them the chance to share what they’re reading.
Mary Olson is Readers’ Advisory Librarian for the Medina County District Library (OH), her favorite position from 23 years in public libraries. She coordinates readers’ services such as author visits, events for book groups, newsletters, social media, matching readers with books, and staff training. Prior to becoming RA Librarian, Mary was an Adult Department Supervisor and an Outreach Services Librarian. Her favorite authors are Kate Morton, Chris Bohjalian, and Tana French, and if she could read just one type of book for the rest of her life, it would be a mystery set during WWII. When she isn’t managing her teenagers, reading, or helping with Relay For Life, she is daydreaming about her favorite spot on earth, Sanibel Island, FL.
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