Librarian's or Librarians'

Before LBC was part of LISNEWS I wrote the name like this Librarians' Book Club. I had at least two people email me and say that it should be Librarian's Book Club. When LBC became part of LISNEWS I put the name as Librarian's Book Club.
Someone posted a comment asking whether the name should be Librarians' Book Club. I would like to come to a definitive answer. Can the grammar experts among the group weigh in? The name will either remain the same or be adjusted accordingly. If you have a source for your answer please cite it.


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Re:That depends

Well, in this case, the apostrophe is NOT indicating the plural but the possessive of the plural. Two different things. Actually, I don't think apostrophes are ever used to indicate the plural, are they? So, your examples, if referring to plural teachers and librarians, should be Teachers' and Librarians' and, of course, there's a whole other debate on whether there should be another s after the apostrophe in those plural possessive examples.


Handbook for Writers

The Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers 2nd edition gives this rule. Add an apostrophe (but not an s) to plural nouns that end in s .
hostesses' job
students' opinion
senators' chambers
Smiths' home
Do people think this is the rule that applies?

Eats Shoots & Leaves

I don't think it needs one at all, but I'm not so good with 's. I'd just change the name if I was the one naming it.I'd make it The LISNews Book Club, or The Librarian Book Club. Probably not for the reasons you think though.
  I'm never sure where the heck the ' goes, unless it's going in a place to contract is or am or something simple like that. I suppose I could just look it up though.

That depends

If it's your book club and you're a librarian, then it's definitely a librarian's book club. However, if it's a book club made up of librarians, and they are all deemed to be responsible for it, then it's definitely the librarians' book club.

Simple, eh?

Re:That depends

To put it another way: apostrophe before the s indicates possession by one librarian; apostrophe after the s indicates possession by more than one librarian. But, I vote for LISNews Book Club, since our community is comprised of more than librarians (no apostrophe).

Name Change

I am up for changing the name to LISNEWS Book Club. What do you think Blake? Should we just go ahead and change the name?

Re:That depends

I vote for LISNews Book Club, too. That said, I believe that current AP Stylebook practice is to drop the apostrophe in certain instances where the plural is indicated by the final s such as Teachers College or Librarians Book Club.


Re:Name Change

That's not at all why I wrote that, I was writing about my thought process. It's your club, if you can figure out where the darn 's go we can call it whatever you want. I'm just the kinda guy that avoid the ' no matter what I called it, that's all I was saying.I happen to like the Librarian['s or s'] Book Club name.

Re:That depends

No way! How dare they render my 30 year old knowledge of grammar and punctuation obsolete?!


The grammar from my youth would dictate that the name be Librarians' Book Club because it's meant for more than one librarian. My preference, though, would be for the simplified -- Librarians Book Club. Purists can eat shoots and leaves. With ketchup, the new vegetable.

Which reminds me of a little ditty from the late 60s that could be subverted to this need...

ELL BEE JAY took the EYE ARE TEE down to Mainstreet YOU ESS AYE. When he got there what did he see? The youth of America on ELL ESS DEE.

Playful acronyms are in short supply.

Re:Name Change

As Rochelle stated, the book club would not be composed solely of librarians; I agree that the name LISNews Book Club would be more accurate and appropriate.


This is exactly the kind of a case where a plural noun is needed. The book club is for many librarians; therefore, the name should be the librarians' book club. If this was Troy's alone, then the name could the librarian's book club.

Re:Handbook for Writers

Yes, this is the rule that applies - it is a plural possessive. Here is a site with a good description and examples.

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