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Two goals, one stone, easy magic

So my two big goals for the school year are

1) encouraging reading outside the curriculum

2) proving that learning opportunities exist outside the doors of our school and our library.

Shannon Miller and I started chatted about connecting our book clubs late this summer, but the beginning of the school year hit and so did all sorts of other responsibilities.

So I never actually told my club about this plan.

But yesterday, we were able to spontaneously grab Shannon’s book club leader, Sebastian, into our first organizational club meeting.  I didn’t even have time to set up the projector.

Nevertheless, the result was kinda magical.

After some initial shyness, the club officers took over, filling Sebastian in on our discussion so far, exploring shared reading interests and authors we’ve been stalking, and developing a plan for organizing meetings in the future.  Lauren, our newly appointed secretary, immediately opened a Google Doc and promised the create a poll to help us make reading decisions.

Plans in the works: an October read selecting a title in the vampire/werewolf/zombie genre, a science fiction title, and a March film discussion on Hunger Games (with a possible book discussion happening before that).  We also hope to Skype in Amber, our former book club pres, who is studying abroad in Austria this school year.

Whatever happens next, yesterday’s energy and the way the kids took over the planning still has me smiling today.

Fingers crossed for future happy reading connections.

Can we expand these book club partnerships?

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. I have a high school book club that would love to partner with other schools and participate in virtual activities. We tried partnering up on last year but it didn’t sustain the interest. Kids are social and incorporating additional social media is necessary. I also love that the students coordinating the planning instead of the teachers.

  2. I have a middle school Hunger Games club (10-15 students, several teachers, and we would love to partner with you for any (and all) Hunger Games related activities! Please let me know as your plans develop and how we can help you to plan.

  3. Rachel,
    I am intrigued by your HG club! Can you send me a few details about your startup…I think this would be a great kickoff for the year…we haven’t had an official book club meeting yet because of unforseen events but I would be interested in partnering up! (We are in Austin, TX!)

  4. My high school library club (TLC: The Library Club) which we founded last year had an organizational meeting last week, and decided they want to get more involved in book discussions. If we could sync on times (which could be a challenge across the country!), they would be tickled to get to connect with your group.


  1. […] about three years ago, Joyce Valenza shared in her Neverending Search blog the idea that she and Shannon Miller came up with to connect their school library book clubs into a […]

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