Under one name or another, there have been book clubs and student conversation groups since at least the 1980s. “New Beginnings” and “SOAR—Students of Adult Reading”–flourished in the 1980s and 90s. The Bangor Public Library often hosted. The groups also enjoyed occasional meals and other events. Today’s version is the book club New Books, New Readers, sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council.
In the 1980s and 90s, students and volunteers sometimes went to the national conferences of Literacy Volunteers of America. Fundraising and business sponsors paid for the students’ travel.