Operating Manual

This will provide the leadership and volunteers of Lavender Book Club a brief but substantive guide for running this organization as time and people change.



Lavender Book Club is dedicated to being the best book discussion club serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning residents and visitors in and around Washington, DC. We will cover a variety of genres and try to cover the full spectrum of GLBTQ literature, where other book clubs may focus specifically only on gay or lesbian selections. We strive to make the discussions stimulating in eclectic meeting locations and create a community atmosphere that is safe and open for discussion about related issues.

In addition, the group is going to develop a grant program (coined "Lavender Grant") for an informal GLBTQ library (coined "Lavender Library") so that members who want to be involved and learn about GLBTQ literature can have access to more affordable GLBTQ books, and participate in our book discussions. (see more details below)



Lead Coordinator - equivalent of the executive management in the organization; has final say in all matters and should consult with the other club managers, as necessary. He also handles all the finances of the group. (one position; should not be the Historian or Meeting Coordinator)

Meeting Coordinator - charged with making sure that the meeting locations are defined and members notified for all the meetings of the club; additionally, this position will work with the Lead Coordinator to market and advertise. (one or two positions, depending on size of the group; should not be the Lead Coordinator or Historian)

Discussion Leader(s) - responsible for reading (or reviewing, if you have already read) the books for the discussions assigned; you will prepare a Discussion Outline and provide it to the Meeting Coordinator and Lead Coordinator at least two weeks in advance of the upcoming meeting for review and commentary, and for advertising purposes. (There should be as many as possible but the maximum number of Discussion Leaders should be twelve; a Discussion Leader can hold any other position listed, but only one of the other positions.)

Historian - keeps a written history of the group updated on the website, keeps the list of books read updated on the website, and manages a database of discussion outlines for future reference. (one position; should not be the Lead Coordinator or Meeting Coordinator)


Anyone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer is allowed to attend; however, they must abide by our mission and community group's rules.

Members (Officially) - Residents of the Metropolitan Washington DC area.

Visitors - Non-residents of the Metropolitan Washington DC area. They may attend a book discussion because they have learned about our group, happen to have read the select reading(s) for an upcoming meeting, and attend that specific meeting.

RULES OF MEMBERSHIP (to be completed)

1) Respect -  for other members is a core foundational item 

2) Communication  - 

3) Confidentiality - 

4) Attendance - 



Meetings will be held monthly at a location of choice at least two weeks prior to the meeting date. Over time, we'll make note here of choice location(s) for the book discussions.

ADVERTISING (to be completed)





    E-mail Lists (Membership, Others)


DISCUSSION OUTLINE FORMAT (with recommended guidelines in parentheses.)


Please give your name and tell me what you thought about this book or piece of literature. 

(You should always start as the discussion leader to guide them and show your expectation for how to respond; additionally, it gives them a chance to think of an answer.)


OPENING STATEMENT      The book and topic of discussion tonight is:

What I would like to discuss tonight is:

(Provide a brief paragraph/description of what will be discussed at the book club meeting that evening.)



Try to produce approximately 3-5 questions for every hour of discussion that can lead conversation down paths to spark conversation when it slows down.





(Provide a two to three sentence summary utilizing concepts that were brought up over the course of the discussion, or a more generic closing statement thanking everyone for coming. Try to leave them with something to ponder or to move them to action.)



1. Introduce yourself and welcome the (old and/or new) membership to Lavender Book Club.
2. Lead the Introduction.
3. Describe your discussion style and ground rules for discussion.
4. Introduce the topic with the Opening Statement and start the discussion

5. Close the discussion with the Closing Statement.
6. Ask for community/personal announcements from the
7. Explain any club-organized events upcoming, and what, if anything, club members have decided to do after the meeting; perhaps a cup of coffee or dinner or drinks somewhere.
8. Ask everyone if anyone would like to be added to the club email list, if they are not already. Pass around the sign-up sheet.

After the meeting, it is your duty to go home and e-mail lavenderbookclub@gmail.com with the following information (and, for ease of use, you can copy and paste this format and just fill in the line items):

    Subject line:

Date of Meeting


Location: (please note any issues good/bad with the location)
Attendance (# of attendees, including yourself):

Donations: $
New Attendees:


*Also, if you have not already done so, please e-mail the Historian the discussion outline for antiquity. 


Please submit any e-mail list requests (name and e-mail address) to the Lead Coordinator and s/he will take care of adding them to the e-mail list.