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Library Book Group: History and Organization

Animated Bookworm
The first meeting of the book group was held on September 11, 2000. Launched as a library school project of group leader Carol Jankowski who felt strongly about connecting books to readers, the first phase of the group was advertised and promoted throughout the community of Duxbury.

This pilot book group was entitled The Stories They Tell, aptly named for the first four reading selections which were memoirs.

Initially, twenty-three people demonstrated an interest. The first fifteen were informed that they were the lucky ones! A waiting list was developed and since the group's inception, each person on the list has participated in the group.

Simple guidelines presented to the members at the first meeting included:

  • each person will be treated courteously, respectfully and with kindness
  • all points of view will be considered fairly and equally
  • each person will be encouraged but not forced to participate,
  • each person will make every effort to read the entire book and be prepared for discussion.

After the first four sessions, group members completed an evaluation. Everyone indicated that they wished Carol to continue developing the questions and leading the discussion. Everyone also supported the structure of the group and didn’t want to increase membership beyond fifteen.

The group continues today reading a wide variety of books that includes contemporary fiction, awards winners, short stories and non-fiction.

Members are encouraged to participate in book selection and discussion. Members are also encouraged to take the lead in selecting, presenting and formulating discussion questions but only a few brave readers have stepped forward. Selected books are usually distributed one month in advance and every attempt is made to obtain the books through the library's network.

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