Best Practice For Online Book Clubs



Best Practices for Online Book Clubs

With the busy lives, we all live online book clubs are great way to engage in the wonderful world of reading. If you are interested in setting in front of the fire with your faithful companion next to you and reading a great book while able to discuss the book online with others, what great way to end the working week. The presentation included on this page will highlight the best practices for online books clubs for public libraries and general book clubs. If you are interested in setting up online book club for your school please continue to browse this website

Best Practice For Online Book Clubs


What is an online book club – Face-to-face books clubs have been around for a long time. Since Web 2.0 was developed, a new way for people to enjoy reading was born.

This allowed the development of online book clubs so that members do not need to be in the same geographical location or have to meet face-to-face at a set time. (Lombardi)

Online Book Clubs can take the form of websites such as Toronto Public Library’s Book Buzz Virtual Online Book or online communities such as Goodreads, Yahoo Groups and My-Book-Club. These sites provide access to the members to communicate with each other by email, chat or forums. Online Book Clubs are 24/7 so this allows you to discuss books at anytime that is convenient to you. This can be at home sitting next to your favourite companion with your laptop, ipad or iphone.

For public libraries, online book clubs provides opportunity to clients who still love reading but do not have the time for it. Due to the popularity of public libraries’ online book clubs, a number of teachers (Scharber) (Wilson) are researching into how they could incorporate online book clubs into the classroom.  (Auyeung)


The top 12 best practices that were discussed in the presentation home will also be important for school online book clubs.

However, for schools online book clubs are great way to complement class studies. Online book clubs help to engage students in learning and in addition to enjoy reading in an environment that they are more familiar with. Online book clubs are great opportunity to increase student’s participation in literature discussions. In addition, shy student who as a rule do not participate in literature discussion in a classroom find online platform more comfortable to participate in.

Schools Online book clubs help in:

    • Support productive communication:

By providing specific discussion questions each week in the areas where your students are reading. This will ensure that the school children are focus on the literature in question. They can also continue the discussion outside the classroom with their peers. (Diltz)

Writing online can allow students to find meaning and learn how to communicate through discussion in the online environment. In addition, students communicating online can also support reflection, reconstruction, and more understanding of online text. (Wilson)

    • Digital Citizenship:

Online book clubs are a safe haven to teach students about respecting each other, Internet safety and etiquette. (Diltz)

Online books clubs are way to increase students and teachers’ efficacy and the love of the online environment. (Wilson)

    • Online book clubs are 24/7:

This allows members to follow any discussion at a time that suits them. This can be after school, before bed and at times when they might of played computer games (Diltz)

    • Craftsmanship:

Students enjoy seeing their work online and talking to their peers. (Diltz)

    • Information Literacy:

Online book clubs also enriches students’ literacy by using blogs, websites, email and live chats. (Wilson)

    • E-Monitoring:

Online book clubs is a good way for teachers who do not always have time to help students in their reading in the face-to-face environment. With the use of online book clubs, teachers and students can interact with each other though reading books. Parents can also help their child by participating online with their child and teacher. (Wilson)

    • E pals:

Online books clubs provided safe place for shy and lonely kids to learn to share and discuss books with others. (Wilson)


In addition, online book clubs are a great way to supplement learning in schools and to encourage reading by students. Expanding on the best practices applying to public libraries and general book clubs, Home this page discusses best practices for schools online book clubs.

  • Parents participation:

With the financial pressure today both parents need to work. An Online Book Club is a way for parents to be part of their children’s learning. In addition, parents can with training from the club, monitor and help students and teachers in providing long-term learning through the online book club. (Diltz)

    • Training:

Students need to learn about appropriate behaviour including Internet safety, signing in and participating in discussions. This can be done in a number of ways firstly, provide an introductory session and secondly, encourage tech-savvy students to help their peers. There also need to be training for the student’s parents and other teachers who would like to participate in the online book club. (Diltz)

    • Select a range of appropriate titles that students can choose from:

To ensure that all students are able to participate the moderator of the online book club must provide a wide range of titles that are appropriate for the students. (Diltz)

    • Create tags for each book:

To help students navigate around the site include tags or categories for each book. (Diltz)

    • General Discussion topic for each book:

To be a great online book club you need to generate good discussions. (Scharber)

The best way to do this is to provide each book that is selected that month with set discussion topics. LitLovers and reader club guides provide a wide range of book discussion questions. You might need to change them to suite the age of your children. (Diltz)

    • Provide additional forums:

Provide forums for students to communicate with each other safely. The online book club monitor can insure that students can freely and safely discuss issues that they are worried about. The online book club does not need to be only discussing books. You can provide additional forums that student can use to discuss with their peers or other parents about issues that they are worried about, such as politics, health issues and cooking. (Scharber)

    • A Blog / website:

You need a good platform to run your online book club. This can be done as a blog or a website hosted by Goodreads, Yahoo Groups and Bookmovement. (Diltz)

    • YouTube videos:

Add YouTube videos that talk about the book, how to cook and other issues that affect the students. In addition, if you involve other teachers you can provide other videos that will help students with their homework. (Scharber)

    • Provide extension activities to engage your students:

To keep your students interested in the online book club, the monitor needs to provide other activities such as interviews with authors, links to value-added features on author’s websites and other information that is related to the content of the book your students are reading. (Diltz)

    • Real time chats:

Where all members are online at the same time. Real time chats are great way to encourage social interaction with children who are shy in face-to-face activities. The members can talk about all types of subjects with the help of teachers, parents and librarians. (Scharber)

    • Close online book club:

Close online book club you need to be invited or you need to registrar to join. This is very important so that you can ensure the safety of your students. (PLE)

    • Encourage teachers’ participation:

Teachers can help in providing answers to questions posted on the blog. They can also provide content in the form of videos on a wide range of subjects such as how to eat correctly. They can also help with home problems that children are having, other teachers can also help with the live chats to parents and students. (Diltz)

    • Organize online chats with authors:

Allowing students to talk to their favourite authors is a great way to keep students interested in the online book club. (Scharber)

    • Polls:

Provide polls or quizzes each day for students to participate in such as “how do you rate this book”. (Diltz)

    • Once a month face-to-face in class:

This would bring out any issues that the students have with the online book club. This would also be a way for teachers to learn and improve their knowledge of how to teach and monitor students online. (Wilson)

    • Online Support Websites:

If you not sure how to set up an online book club for you school have a look at The They provides help to teachers with materials and ideas for online book clubs. (


AuYeung, C., Dalton, S., & Gornall, S. (2007). Book buzz: Online 24/7: Virtual reading clubs and what we’ve learned about them. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 2(2), 1-19. Retrieved from

Diltz, M. (2012). Online book clubs as literature circles. School Library Monthly, 29(3), 37-38. Retrieved from

Lombardi, E. (2014). What’s so different about an online book club? Retrieve from

PLE. (2014). How to Create a Virtual Book Club for my Students. Retrieve from

Scholastic Book Club Online. (2014). Scholastic Book Club Online. Retrieved from

Scharber, C. (2009). Online Book Clubs: Bridges Between Old and New Literacies Practices. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(5), 433–437. doi: 10.1598/JAAL.52.5.7

Scharber Doering, C. M. (2009). Online book clubs for the net generation. (Order No. 3366923, University of Minnesota). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 190. Retrieved from (304939527).

Wilson, J.C. (2010). Through Firewalls and Beyond: A Focus on What Pre-service Teachers Learned in an Online Book Club. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 18(4), 671-691. Retrieved from

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