By October 27, 2010 8 Comments Read More →

Facebook for Book Groups

Is your book group using Facebook? I stubbornly kept away due to privacy concerns, and because I didn’t need one more drain on my time. But as it became apparent that most of my acquaintances, groups, and organizations are conducting business on Facebook, I decided it was time to put aside my reservations. I started about three months ago. Yes, Facebook can be a black hole of time; yes, I still have privacy concerns; but no, I haven’t regretted getting involved.

One organization that drew me to Facebook was my science fiction & fantasy book group. We had been using Yahoo Groups for online notices, and while it worked to some degree, it required an extra login that most of our members were no longer making. Most were, however, already using Facebook, so adding a page for our group was not a difficult step. One of our members created a page, and the quick stampede from Yahoo to Facebook made it clear which service our readers preferred.

Our Facebooking isn’t elaborate, but we make an event invitation once a month to remind people of the upcoming meeting. Because of the RSVP option, I now have a general idea of how many are coming, and I’ve been surprised by how many RSVP about their attendance.

Facebook has led to increased participation by friends of friends, people on the group’s fringes who have become more regular attendees. For others, who live too far away or have a conflict with our meeting time, the event invitations keep us in their awareness for occasional attendance or facilitate return to active membership when their schedule changes. Facebook also advertises events to Internet searchers, one of the first places online that many will look.

This particular group already had plenty of social contact beyond the scope of meetings, but Facebook has enhanced that interaction. For the long-term success of our endeavor, that’s a critical benefit.

Also, don’t forget that Booklist is now on Facebook. If you like the blogs here, you can also follow them through your Facebook account.

Is your book group using Facebook? Do you use it any particular way that I haven’t mentioned? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On... Fantasy Fiction and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups.

8 Comments on "Facebook for Book Groups"

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  1. melba.tomeo@gmail.com' Melba Tomeo says:

    We use facebook as a virtual book club, employing the photo gallery to display covers of those books read by members. Interested parties, including the original reader, comment on the “photos,” the idea being to create a resource we can go to when looking for something good to read. I loosely suggest themes… something frightening for October, something global and grateful for November and December. We use the discussion tabs to talk about things like e-readers. So far, fun! We call ourselves “The Book Report” and all are welcome.

  2. shavers@crc.losrios.edu' Shelley says:

    Odd, because I’m reading this on the first day that I’ve started seriously considering Facebook.

    I figure it might be a little good for my book, but maybe bad for me? You weren’t afflicted by people you like but don’t have much to say to?

    • Neil Hollands says:

      Melba: I like the creative ideas for using Facebook for a virtual book club. You might find an interface like GoodReads or Shelfari even more useful, but that would require a separate login. I do use a widget working now that posts some of my GoodReads activity to my Facebook page.

      Shelley: I find it easy to scan past Facebook posts when those who I like and have accepted as friends write material that doesn’t pertain to me or doesn’t interest me (and to be honest, most of what gets posted is not interesting, but it’s usually worth skimming past for the good stuff). If you’ve “friended” someone who turns out to be a particular annoyance, you can set the interface to hide all of their postings from you in the future (but still leave them as friends so they won’t take offense).

  3. kaitestover@kclibrary.org' Kaite Stover says:

    Cool idea! Think I will do this in conjunction with our Library’s FB page.

  4. mariadelmar_19@yahoo.com' Maria del Mar says:

    Talking about facebook and book groups, they now have an app or tool called “Book Clubs”. I just started it today, though, so I can’t tell you if it’s worth it trying.

    I’m also trying to sync my shelfari with my google. I will post you if I have any news.

    Regards.

  5. mariadelmar_19@yahoo.com' Maria del Mar says:

    I meant my shelfari with my facebook… sorry!

  6. mariadelmar_19@yahoo.com' Maria del Mar says:

    To use the Shelfari app which links it to Facebook, you should visit http://apps.facebook.com/shelfari/

  7. shelleya87@gmail.com' Shelley A says:

    hello, I’m new on here and excited to be a part of the conversation .

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