You would think, after so many years in school, I would learn by now the importance of, when writing reflection pieces, to do them right after the event, instead of almost two weeks later. Alas, I have not yet learned that lesson, so for that, I apologize.
At any rate, during the last class, we hosted our book clubs, where five pairs held a 20 or so minute book club about a short piece of their choice. Our group had three fairy tales and two non-fiction pieces, so the mixture was really nice. We decided to do the fairy tales first, and then the other two next, so we got to do some nice compare/contrast of the fairy tales we had. (And since two were by the Brothers Grimm, I learned that the Brothers Grimm just collected the tales and did not write them, which I didn’t know. Shame on me!)
As I thought, our conversations were varied and lively, and brought up so many points that I hadn’t even thought of. (Gender issues in The Fisherman’s Wife was definitely one of them.) For me, being a facilitator was an easy job because the conversation didn’t really need any prompting from Mollie and I. The hardest part for me, as I predicted, was not putting my two cents in; I’m passionate about the subject we picked, and I caught myself a few times before I said anything. People brought up some points I hadn’t considered, and the one I found most interesting was considering the issue of YA literature (and whether it’s too dark or not and whether or not it’s okay to put on shelves) in schools; I had considered this entirely from a public library stance, but putting the articles in the context of a school library, where sometimes the choices don’t lie with the school librarian, definitely made me reconsider some things.
This was definitely a fun class and a really useful one as well. I hope that by being a future YA librarian that I get a lot of opportunities to do book clubs, and I learned a lot facilitating and participating in these. I think any time we get to participate in something like this “for real,” it’s incredibly valuable, because as much as you plan and write questions, it really comes down to the actual meeting and how you (and your fellow facilitators) are involved in the meeting.
So thanks for the great class!