Reading clubs are a great way to increase awareness of the church library and encourage reading. It requires planning and organization. Start by asking these questions:
- Who is to be included in the event. Children? Adults? If it is for children, what ages or grades will participate? Who will do what to help prepare for the event?
- What is the theme of the event? What are the rules for participation?What sort of reward or motivation will be used (party, prizes, etc.
- Where will the event and associated activities be held? Where and how will it be publicized (newsletter, written invitations, visit to Sunday School classrooms).
- When will the event occur and for how long?
Caution — Try not to make the reading club reward system too competitive. Winning is very important to some people, parents included. The following is an example of what can happen unintentionally.
"Several years ago during a summer reading club, one child badly wanted a bike. Dad promised one if she would read 100 books during the summer. That was more than one a day! After several weeks he was really turning her off books, and probably making her hate reading." .
Suggestions from the library at Liberty Baptist Church:
"Try having a church-wide reading emphasis for all — adults and children. Last year we did this in February and had a "read up a storm" theme, hanging snowflakes from the ceiling for each item checked out from the library.' This year we had a "celebrate your freedom to read" program, with red, white and blue stars hanging from the ceiling and even out into the hallway. These reading emphases and the associated visual images have helped create interest in our library and encourage its use."