The California State Library and the California Center for the Book are collaborating on an exciting new program model called Book-to-Action. Book-to-Action builds on the traditional book club concept, but in addition to providing an opportunity to collectively read and discuss a book, Book-to-Action enables readers to put their new-found knowledge into action by engaging in a community service project related to the book's topic.
To learn more about the first Book-to-Action program in California, watch "From Book to Action: One Library's Story" a 4-minute video about the program Sally Thomas launched at the Hayward Public Library in 2011 based on Novella Carpenter's book, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.
In 2012, ten California libraries received small LSTA grants to implement their own Book-to-Action programs – all with great success. See a list of these funded libraries, their selected books, community service partners and, in some cases, project videos.
In 2013, the California Center for the Book began administering the program on behalf of the State Library and provided reimbursements of up to $3,000 to thirteen libraries around the state. The program has continued and expanded; see lists of participating libraries at 2013 Book-To-Action Libraries, 2014 Book-To-Action Libraries, and 2015 Book-To-Action Libraries.
We have developed an online toolkit that provides tips and guidelines for librarians and community partners interested in organizing their own Book-to-Action programs. The toolkit includes a recommended list of book titles that are well suited for civic engagement activities, and ideas about potential community partners.
For more information about Book-to-Action, please contact Mary Menzel, director of the California Center for the Book, at firstname.lastname@example.org.