Who doesn't love a good book club? Besides getting together with friends and having a couple glasses of wine, it's so much fun to discuss a book you spent hours reading with other people who have invested own their time into reading and understanding the same book. Book clubs are great for so many reasons - they make you try books you may not have otherwise picked up, give you insights you would not otherwise have had, and to reflect on your own experiences. I've been a member in several book clubs over the years, and they have helped me to better understand what are now some of my favourite books - of course, the food and the wine didn't hurt either!
But what about administrator book clubs? I know that they absolutely have and do exist. I read a study once on administrative uses of Twitter in which administrators were able to connect with each other on social media and ended up starting a book club, and I thought this was such a great idea. I wish the practice of starting administrator book clubs was more common, because the benefits would be huge for grad students, teachers of educational administration, and school administrators. To see what was out there, I conducted an official Google Search for administrator book clubs and found that there are definitely a few administrator-specific book clubs with an online presence. For example, the University of Virginia Administrator Book Club (ABC) has a website for their book club, and seems like it's doing a great job of bringing together administrators from various departments within the university to discuss administration + leadership topics. I think a book club like this would be so beneficial for my graduate program, or even at the university where I work. Unfortunately, memberships to these book clubs tend to be limited by proximity to the organization or by the nature of their membership.
Fortunately we do not live in a day and age where we need to sit around to wait for our schools to organize their own book clubs. With the Internet, anyone can start their own online book club, which is a great alternative to a more traditional book club (though you may need to supply your own wine and hors d'oeuvres). Online book clubs allow users from all over the world to meet online at a time that is convenient for them, and can comment on each other's observations through group forums. Perhaps the most popular platform for online book clubs is Goodreads (which also features some useful book reviews for some popular educational admin books, like this one I wrote), although a Facebook group or your own blog works just as well. All you need is an Internet connection.
I think anyone who studies, teaches, or practices educational administration would benefit from joining an administrator book club. Through writing this post, I've become inspired to start my own. I will add a link here when my online book club is live, but for now, please spread the word and if you feel as passionate about starting an administrator book club as I do, check out Goodreads or another online platform of your choosing, and start your own - and of course, if you do, please link it the comments section below!
Click here to download my free tip sheet on how to start your own online administrator book club on goodreads in 5 simple steps!
Are you currently in a book club, online or otherwise? What do you like about being in one?