Peterborough, ConVal High School libraries join forces for high school book club

  • Peterborough Town Library’s new book club for high-schoolers, in collaboration with the ConVal High School library, kicks off Dec. 6. Staff file photo by Stacy Hannings

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/26/2021 10:03:04 AM

A new book club is coming to the Peterborough Town Library – one for high-schoolers only. 

The kickoff event for the book club will be Monday, Dec. 6, from 3 to 4 p.m., and will hopefully be the start of a successful effort, said Public Services Librarian Aimee LaRue. Previously, the library had one over Zoom during the pandemic, but it only involved one book and one meeting.

“It’s always been a dream to have a book club for teens,” LaRue said. “We’re hoping this one’s going to continue.”

The club is the result of a partnership between Peterborough Town Library and the ConVal High School library, with librarians Ashley Jones and Rachael Bowman helping facilitate the program.

“This kind of program is important for high-schoolers because it allows students to engage with their peers over an interest in books,” said Jones. “It is an opportunity to step away from screens, have in-person interactions and build community. Reading is important and the more we can do to promote it, the better.”

Jones and Bowman will participate in the club as it moves forward and help increase the number of students involved over the school year. 

“We’re always looking for opportunities to collaborate with the Peterborough Town Library,” said Jones, adding that she and Bowman were excited to encourage students to take advantage of the library’s newly renovated space.

This was part of LaRue’s motivation for starting the club, as well.

“The foundation of the library is literacy. That’s our main goal, and with our brand-new space, we have a dedicated teen area, so I think this is just also a good excuse to get them to come to the library and see the beautiful space we have and everything that’s available to them within our building, and beyond, with all our resources.”

Many youths already use the library, LaRue said, and this is not the first book club the library will host. Another, called “Pizza and Pages,” is a book group for students in fifth grade and up. But since it attracts a younger crowd, LaRue said that there was a gap that needed to be filled for high-schoolers.

“I know we have a handful of kids already signed up,” she said. “Everybody I’ve talked to has been really excited.”

The club’s kickoff will include a tour of the library, pizza and snacks, and the selection of the first book to read. If the students so choose, they’ll also be able to pick all of the books for the duration of the club, which LaRue expects to last through the end of the school year.

“We want them to have ownership over the club,” LaRue said, from book selection to topics of discussion. “We’ll probably keep it pretty loose… just a simple discussion about the book. This isn’t school.”

The plan is currently to meet every other month, to give book club members plenty of time to read whatever book ends up getting picked.

“We know high-schoolers are busy,” LaRue said. “And, if they pick a 500-page novel, we want to give them time.”

Additionally, everyone who signs up for the first meeting will receive a free copy to keep of the first book they read. 

The snow date for the book club kickoff is Tuesday, Dec. 7. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register on the Peterborough Town Library website, peterboroughtownlibrary.org. 


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