Document Type


Publication Date



The book group is a staple of the public library system. For years public libraries have used it to gather readers of different genres (mystery book lovers), to celebrate holidays or different times of year (seasons, summer reading programs), and to appeal to diverse patron groups (children’s reading groups, student recreational reading groups). At Loyola Marymount University (LMU), a medium-sized private Jesuit university, we decided to use the book group as a way of reaching out to our neighboring communities. This article will describe how we used the traditional book group to promote a new academic program and the unanticipated success it continues to have in reaching those outside our campus. The Jewish book and discussion group, now finishing its sixth year, has been a valuable way to bring people from all over the greater west side of Los Angeles to our library and to our campus for many educational and cultural programs that LMU offers.