Like so many things, the RadioWest Book Club started with a question: Would RadioWest listeners want to read books together and talk about them? There was only one way to learn the answer, and now, four months, 370 plus members and some 15,000 podcast downloads later, it appears that yes, they would.
The RadioWest Book Club partnered with our local public libraries – first the Salt Lake City system and now currently the Salt Lake County system – to increase our membership both in size and diversity. We’ll continue to ask local librarians from other systems around the state to help us out with moderating online discussions and joining in for our monthly meetings. The librarians we’ve worked with have been a wonderful asset and resource, providing thoughtful book suggestions, reader questions and support along the way.
Within the RadioWest team, the book club has been an excellent guide for helping us determine conversations that are relevant to and on our listeners minds. Thanks to our book selections, we’ve spent an hour of programming on Albert Camus and his philosophies, as well as on writer and activist James Baldwin and his 1965 famous debate with William F. Buckley Jr.
Outside of the organization, the book club has given our listeners and beyond a landing place to connect with other readers, discuss thought-provoking ideas and interact with experts on the authors we’re reading. Each month, for our book club Zoom meeting, we’ve invited a specialist on the author to talk with us, answer questions and discuss the book. We then record those meetings and make them available on podcast. Although we have about 370 members of the book club, each month’s podcast receives somewhere around 9,000 downloads.