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Special Needs Clearinghouse

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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Innovation Leader: Paula Brehm-Heeger, Library Services Manager, Central Region, paula.brehm-heeger@cincinnatilibrary.org

Problem Statement

The popularity of book clubs for adults, both community-based clubs organized by individuals and clubs hosted at Library locations by Library staff, has increased significantly in recent years. The Library must seize the opportunity to gain customers, engage new users and provide Library staff support for offering high-quality book club experiences to adult customers by proactively assisting in supplying needed books and helpful resource materials for these clubs.

Innovation

Increase the convenience for book club organizers to use Library materials through the creation of Book Clubs to Go (BG2G). This model offers customers and Library staff organizing book clubs for their branch library the option to request and check out a canvas bag kit that includes 15 copies of the same title, a book summary and review, the author’s biography and list of published titles, discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and a customizable poster to display wherever the book club meets. Book club moderators and participants find all of the ingredients for a quality, thoughtful book discussion in one easy to use package. To minimize the cost of this initiative BG2G features popular titles of which the Library originally purchased multiple copies. Instead of weeding excess copies many are re-purposed for the BG2G program.

Progress

The Library now offers 48 fiction and nonfiction titles as part of the BG2G program. The BG2G information is available on the Library’s webpage. These kits have circulated over 80 times in the past seven months. The number of book clubs for adults offered at Library locations has increased in recent months and BG2G kits can frequently be seen waiting for customer pick-up on the Library’s self-service holds shelves.