Purpose: CSD faculty at a mid-sized public university invited students and alumni to join a monthly book club focused on topics relevant to professional practice. The goals were (1) to create a pleasurable activity that would serve as a social and intellectual forum for open dialogue; (2) to attempt to address gaps in the less tangible “soft” skills that may not be directly or thoroughly taught in courses; and (3) to help participants see beyond personal interest silos and explore new topics.

Method: The work reviews and summarizes book club research from health care, education and CSD. It describes one book club process and discusses some perceived advantages of exploring literature in a social context.

Results: Previously published research reveals that book clubs are being implemented across a number of health care and education professions and specialties. Results include improvements in mentoring relationships, peer-to-peer bonds, direct and indirect clinical skills, collaboration, perspective-taking, cultural competence and avoidance of burnout.

Conclusions: Book club studies from within CSD and adjacent fields support and validate the original goals for our CSD book club. Also, reports provide evidence for a range of additional benefits of exploring literature as a social activity. Readers may structure book clubs in their own settings, and for their own purposes, based on the ideas presented.

Keywords: book club, CSD, speech-language pathology, audiology, literature



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