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Facilitator's Guide

Whether you are an old pro at hosting book clubs, or new to the endeavor, this guide will help you host a successful conversation.

 

Prior to your meeting:

  • This may seem obvious, but make sure you know the work.  If you haven’t read it since high school, reread the novel, or listen to the audiobook (this can really change your experience of the book!).  Refresh yourself on the work you are facilitating.  

  • Things to think about when reading:  Pay close attention to the words the author chooses to use.  Does anything jump out at you?  Are any particular words repeated often?  Look at the names of the main characters.  Why do you think they were chosen?  The author could have used any names, why did they pick those?  Are there obvious uses of the binary (opposites) in the novel?  

 

Facilitating the conversation:

  • Use the prompts from the Book Group Guides to start the conversations.  Read the intro to the clip, listen to the clip and see where your group takes the conversation.  If the entire meeting time is taken up with the first clip and the discussion it creates, great!  Maybe you need to meet again! If not, when there is a natural lull in discussion, move on to the next clip. 

  • If conversations get personal or political, or someone goes off on a tangent, bring the conversation back to the work.  “Interesting, where do you see that in the novel? What page/paragraph/section led you to think that?”  Keep the conversation focused on the novel itself. 

  • Information about the author, the time period the novel was published in, or other outside context can bring context to the discussion, but always remember to bring the focus back to the work itself.  

After the conversation:

  • Did your group enjoy their experience?  Would they like to do it again?  If so, plan another meeting.

  • Point out the library website www.aplmn.org, where your group can find the lectures and podcasts if they would like to explore the novel more on their own.  

  • Feel free to contact us at ask@aplmn.org if there are any questions, comments or suggestions.

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