Join the Illinois State
Professional Development and Personal Growth Book Club

 Brought to you by PBC Guru

Join our virtual community to connect with fellow Illinois State alumni and enjoy books on professional development and leadership. Scroll down for more information.
Participation is free!

How it Works

We're creating a virtual book club for Illinois State alumni covering professional development and personal growth topics related to careers and leadership. The book club will connect through a private LinkedIn Group where people can discuss the current book and network with each other. Joining the book club is completely free for alumni, you just have to get a copy of the book to enjoy. The group will read a book every two months so you'll have plenty of time for each book.

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Why Join?

There are three main reasons we hope you'll be excited to participate in our alumni book club:

1. Connect with Fellow Illinois State Alumni: Want another way to connect with Illinois State alumni? Joining our book club will introduce you to fellow Redbirds across industries, generations and geographies to help you improve your network.
2. Advance Your Career: A professional book club can enhance your career on two fronts. First, the books you read may make you more effective in areas critical to success like leadership, communication and productivity. Second, the network you'll be building may help you with career advice, introducing you to new people, and finding your next job.
3. Reading is Good for You: Did you know business people who read at least seven business books per year earn over 230% more than people reading just one book per year?1 Or that reading improves your intelligence, reasoning ability, and has been linked to reducing the chance of Alzheimer's?2 Joining our book club gives you the opportunity to read more and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

The Books

Below are a few examples of the kind of books the group may read. We'll vote between several options each period and select a book based on participants' interests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often will books be read, what is the time commitment and what are the expectations?

We plan to start the group by reading a book every two months. The texts selected will be popular business and non-fiction books and take an average of six hours to read cover to cover. If you have between 15 and 30 minutes a week to read you should be fine. There are no strict expectations on members for this virtual community; if you are particularly busy with work, family, or other obligations and can't read one of the books that's okay. If you can only read part of a book and contribute a little to the online discussion then that's okay too. The goal of this program is to connect Illinois State alumni together through reading, so participate as much as makes sense for you.

Will there be any in-person meetings of the book club

No, the book club will be entirely online. You can participate anywhere you have Internet access and on days and times that are convenient to you.

Is there any cost to participate?

Participation is free for Illinois State alumni! You are responsible only for obtaining a copy of the book.

How do I get the books?

Participants can get books for free at their local library or purchase them.

How do book club discussions work?

The book club will have a moderator who manages the LinkedIn group where discussions occur online. The moderator will pose questions to the group, share relevant articles, and facilitate conversation about topics in the book. Members will be encouraged to post and share as well. This format allows for ongoing conversation and makes it easy for alumni to connect with each other through LinkedIn.

What if I don't have a LinkedIn profile?

We're using a LinkedIn Group to host the virtual book club so it's easy to connect with fellow Redbirds. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile you can make one for free at Just sign up and follow the easy instructions to make your profile. You can learn more about creating an effective LinkedIn profile by accessing this video on the topic!

What exactly is PBC Guru and what do they have to do with the Illinois State book club?

Professional Book Club (PBC) Guru is a book club management company that works with businesses, alumni associations and professional societies. Illinois State Alumni Relations is teaming up with PBC to put this program in place for alumni. You can check out their website at if you want to see more of what they do.

What if my question isn't answered?

Feel free to send an email to and we'll be happy to help.

1 Tuesday Morning Coaching by David Cottrell, pg 134.
2 Harvard Business Review, 2012,

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