Step 3: Build the Library
Arnie Malham avatar
Written by Arnie Malham
Updated over a week ago

It’s time to dig in, get your hands dirty, and build your book club’s Library! In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know:

  • What is the Library?

  • Populating the Library with Titles

  • Choosing What Titles to Add

  • Supplying your Team with Books

  • Companies with Remote Employees

What is the Library?

The Library within the application is essentially a list of titles that the Champion has approved for members to read as a part of your book club. Rather than assigning one book for everyone to read, we encourage companies to let team members choose for themselves from a list of approved titles. It’s a win-win: team members don’t feel like they’re being assigned homework and companies know that their employees are reading relevant books.

Note: The application itself does not house e-books or audiobooks.

Populating the Library with Titles

We encourage you to start simple with your club’s Library—you don’t have to add every single title in one sitting! You can simply add titles as you go so the Library is continually growing with fresh new titles. There are a few ways to go about populating the Library:

  • Add a book from Amazon
    We use Amazon's database to power our search engine making it even easier to find titles without ever leaving the app! It will even atomically add the book cover and the book’s description.

  • Add Top BBC Founders Circle Books
    Quickly populate your club's Library with most popular books read by members of BetterBookClub’s Founders Circle book club with just a couple clicks.

  • Add a manual title
    The Library isn’t limited to just books on Amazon—you can manually add your own materials! This can be used for items such as onboarding and training materials, periodicals, journals, and anything else you’d like that isn’t available on Amazon.

  • Book Suggestions
    All members have the ability to suggest new titles to the Library. Your Administrator or Champion can then choose to accept or decline the title. Book suggestions can be accessed on the Manage Library page.

Choosing What Titles to Add

Keeping true to the customizable nature of BetterBookClub, this is completely up to you! Typically, companies will add titles that are generally business related, industry-specific, or aim to promote personal and professional growth in some way.

Tip: Before rolling out to your company, encourage your leadership team to add their favorite business books to your book club’s library. Once you’ve rolled out the program to the rest of your employees, ask them to suggest their favorite business books to the Library as well. You’ll populate the Library with relevant titles, while also getting your team engaged with the program. Win-win!

Supplying Books to Your Team

While the Library within the application does not house the books themselves, there are a number of ways you can provide books to your team members.

  • Have a physical bookshelf that employees can borrow from

  • Give team members a monthly book budget or allowance

  • Provide a Kindle E-Book Lending Library

  • Encourage team members to use apps such as OverDrive and Hoopla to check out e-books and audiobooks from their local libraries for free

Physical Bookshelf
If a majority of your employees work in your office, we highly recommend having a physical bookshelf from which your book club members can borrow books. Ideally, this would be in a highly trafficked area of your office to help keep the program top of mind for members and encourage participation. Not to mention this is a great talking point for visitors!

Start Your Bookshelf
Much like your online library, there are many ways to get your physical bookshelf started.

  • Host a book drive for your employees to donate books

  • Check out your local used bookstore for budget-friendly finds

Note: Your physical bookshelf does not have to mirror the online Library. For example, you can have 100+ titles in the Library online but only have 25 books on your physical bookshelf, and that’s perfectly fine.

Maintaining a bookshelf does not have to be budget-breaking. We recommend setting aside a small monthly or quarterly budget to help keep your bookshelf updated and fresh. Something as small as $50-$75 a quarter can be a great place to start—this is totally up to you.

Upkeep & Organization
There’s no need to go crazy with organizing your bookshelf. Simply grouping books and audiobooks by topic or author should do just the trick.

In order to keep your bookshelf in tip-top shape, we recommended purchasing hardback books over paperbacks. Hardbacks will last longer and get you a lot more bang for your buck.

Companies with Remote Team Members
Your company may have some remote workers, or perhaps your entire organization is strictly remote. You can still provide your book club members with books—it just may look a little different than the bookshelf we talked about earlier.

If your company only has remote workers that ‘check in’ to the office from time to time, have them borrow a book when they come in and then bring it back the next time they return.

If your organization is solely remote, there are a few different things you can try:

  • Send books to members to read, and once they’ve finished they can either send it back or send it to another co-worker to read

  • Set up a company Amazon account – Champions can order books for members and ship to their address

  • If employees have a company card, give them a monthly or quarterly allowance for books

What's Next?

As you start adding new titles to your Library, you’ll need to begin thinking about your Point system and how you’ll reward your team for reading. Read our next guide about Points & Rewards for ideas and best practices!

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