The program below is one of many featured on ALA’s online clearinghouse for school/public library cooperation managed by the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Visit the’ clearinghouse to learn more or share your own exemplary partnership!

Title of Program:’  Lunch Time Book Club
Type of Program: Book Discussion Groups
Intended Grade Level of Participants: Grades 5-8
Description of Program: The Basalt Regional Library District has funding for programming, but they are short on space and have a difficult time getting interested teems to remember to attend programs.’  The local middle school has little funding and less staff, but plenty of space and students available.

For the past two years, the school and public library have partnered to hold a book club once a week during the students’ lunch periods during the winter months.’  The teens in the book club are allowed to go first in the lunch line and then bring their lunches into the library.’  The 5th and 6th graders meet together for one club and the 7th and 8th graders meet together for the other club.

The students vote on which books to read, and the public library provides a copy of the book for each student.’  The teens set the pace for reading, and they do well discussing on their own with occasional guidance from either the school or public librarians; both librarians read each title so the book club can take place even if there is a librarian’s absence.

The last meeting of each year is spent evaluating the club and talking about the public library (and getting ideas for programming there). Gradually, there has been an increase in the number of teens remembering to attend library programs, and many participants are either from the book club or friends of someone in the book club.

Name of Contact Person: Keri Weston
Title of Contact Person:Youth Services Librarian
School/Library Name: Basalt Regional Library District
Mailing Address: 99 Midland Avenue, Basalt, CO 81621
Phone: (970) 927-4311
Email Address:
URL of Library:
URL of School:

One Thought on “Partnership Profile: Lunch Time Book Club

  1. Alissa Lauzon on June 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm said:

    I do the same thing with one of my local middle schools this year- it has been wildly successful and next year I am going to expand it to another one middle school in the district. It has been a great opportunity for me to get to know kids who live on the other side of town and not within walking distance of the library (as two other middle schools are), so they frequent the library a little less. I am going to be interested to see what impact this has on my summer reading program and my activities this summer as it was a great opportunity to play up both and the kids seemed very excited about them.

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