How to start and run a Book Group

  1. Form a group of up to ten members
    • Each set contains ten copies of a title so book groups cannot exceed ten.
  2. Give your book group a name
    • A unique name helps to avoid confusion when collecting book bags at the library.
  3. Nominate a group secretary
    • Anyone who regularly attends meetings can perform this role.
    • The group secretary is the main point of contact with Libraries Tasmania.
    • The group secretary is responsible for collecting, distributing, retrieving and returning the books.
  4. Register your group
    • The group secretary registers the book group with Libraries Tasmania by completing this registration form.
    • They then receive the group’s registration number and password that are required to get the group started.
    • The secretary is also responsible for renewing the group’s membership every two years.
    • Notification must be given if there is a change of group secretary.  
  5. Choose your books
    • All our book group titles are searchable on the Book Groups Tasmania catalogue.
    • Book groups make their selections using the “Place Hold” button in the catalogue.
    • Groups are encouraged to maintain holds on around 30 titles, so when one book is finished select another.
    • Groups should include a mix of older and newer titles in their selections.
    • If only a small number of popular books is selected, none might be immediately available in which case the group receives a “lucky dip” book set.
    • Members can suggest new titles using the Recommend a Title for Book Groups Tasmania form.
  6. Collect your books
    • Initially, each group receives two sets based on the availability of requested titles.
    • Book sets are delivered in a bag to the group’s nominated local library for the group secretary to collect.
    • The group secretary distributes books to members of the book group.
  7. Meet with your group to discuss the book
    • Our catalogue includes ‘Information for discussion groups’ (see below) for many titles.
  8. Return complete book sets
    • The group secretary is responsible for retrieving books from members and returning the complete set in its bag to the local library.
    • Book bags must be handed directly to a staff member, not returned through the returns chute.
    • At the point of return, library staff check the contents and inform the Group Secretary if charges for damaged or lost books are to be applied.
    • There are no fees for overdue sets however prompt return is encouraged.
    • The return of a complete set triggers the despatch of the next set based on the availability of requested books.

Need help?

  • The group secretary is the main point of contact for all book groups, however if they are unable to assist, contact your local library.
  • Notify your group secretary if a book is damaged or lost.
  • Contact your local library if you need help using a computer for your book group.


Phone: contact your local library


Book Groups Tasmania
91 Murray Street


For more information refer to Book Groups Tasmania

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