When most people think of book clubs, they picture intimate gatherings in living rooms or libraries. People rarely imagine a book club as a collection of GIFs, memes, fan fiction and cosplay, all of which are staples of how readers respond to media in the Internet era. But a new Tumblr blog, Reblog Book Club, wants to give the traditional book club a digital update.
While bloggers have previously hosted book clubs on Tumblr, Reblog Book Club is the first book club that’s founded and moderated by Tumblr itself. Rachel Fershleiser, the microblogging platform’s director of literary outreach, launched the club in September as a way to engage a passionate and diverse online community, but faced challenges in organizing a discussion group.
Should libraries and librarians use Tumblr? Is it wise to wade into this alluring sea of wacky photos, pop-culture commentary, and gifs—snippets of moving images—in order to virtually chat about best book lists, library events, title recommendations, and our favorite quotes?
Yes, and here’s why. The key to a useful social network is to strategically use communication tools, understand each network’s reach, and guarantee ease of use for all involved. Tumblr can be a successful way to connect to new and diverse audiences, provided you understand who you’ll be attracting to your site and how to use Tumblr to your advantage.