Library starting Teen Book Club

Photo by Becky Polaski – Pictured is a notice for the inaugural meeting of the St. Marys Public Library’s Teen Book Club, which will take place Thursday at 4 p.m. at the library.
By: 
Becky Polaski
Staff Writer

The St. Marys Public Library is starting a Teen Book Club, and the inaugural meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 12 at 4 p.m. at the library.
According to Leslie Swope, director of the St. Marys Public Library, the idea for the club was suggested by area teens.
“I had two teenagers ask me if it would be something that we could start doing for them and a couple of their friends that are also big readers,” Swope said. “I always liked the idea, but I wasn’t sure about community interest. It’s nice to have a couple of teenagers in that age group come and ask for us to do it.”
Thursday’s meeting is expected to last roughly 45 minutes, and Swope noted that future meetings will likely fall within that timeframe as well.
“Otherwise, it’s too long and then it’s starting to interfere with supper, and we want everybody to be engaged and happy to be coming,” Swope said.
Future meetings will remain on the second Thursday of each month at 4 p.m.
“We’ll keep it the same time every month to make it easier, and that way it’s right after school so if the kids are in town they’ll still be around and then everybody will be done before suppertime,” Swope said.
While the target audience of the book club is teens, children as young age 12 are welcome to attend.
“We’ll try to pick books that aren’t too adult-like or too above their reading level. We’ll gear the book selection toward the younger teenagers just so we’re more inclusive for a larger group,” Swope said.
For Thursday’s meeting, any teens interested in participating in the book club are asked to bring books or a list of books that they would like to see the group read.
“If not the physical book itself, bring a list of books that you like or things that you’re interested in,” Swope said. “That way we can kind of appeal to everybody, and we’re not just having me picking my favorite teen books, or one or two other people.”
Once the books are selected, a list will be posted so that anyone who wants to participate knows which books they will be reading and when they will be discussing them.
“We’ll get a hold of the books for all of the kids so that they don’t have to worry about buying them or anything,” Swope said.
There are no attendance requirements, and any teens who are interested in participating can come to whichever discussions they choose.
“That’s why we’ll be posting a list of the books, so they know if they read a book or are not interested in a book they don’t necessarily have to come to that one,” Swope said. “I will say that a lot of times the best conversations come about books you hate. It’s easier to say why you don’t like a book than why you do like one sometimes. So if you read a book and you couldn’t stand it, I would still encourage the teens to come because they might enjoy the book discussion anyway.”
As for the monthly book discussions, Swope acknowledged that they are a great way to meet new people and make new friends.
“Most of the time you get really far off topic and end up talking about other things that are either going on that remind you of the book like in pop culture or other books that you’ve read,” Swope said. “We’ll try to stay focused around that book at least for the first half of that meeting.”

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