Book to Action Toolkit

Welcome to the Book to Action 2021 Toolkit

California Center for the Book is here to help you succeed on your Book to Action journey. We hope that this will be an exciting and rewarding professional opportunity for you and your community partner(s) to focus on engaging adults and intergenerational groups. Let’s create dynamic, action-oriented programming and share what we learn.

In the Book to Action Toolkit:

Hayward Library's Book to Action based on Just Mercy (book cover)

Book to Action 2021 Hayward


Book to Action 2021 Burlingame

Book to Action 2021 Titles and Themes

Explore the title selections and project information for:

Book to Action 2021 Resources

Resources specific to Book to Action 2021 themes of Equity, Sustainability and Health:

Book to Action 2021 Reporting Documents & Forms

*Required for LSTA funded initiatives. Note: All reporting is due August 5, 2021 or two weeks after public programming is complete, whichever comes first.

10 Steps for a Successful Book to Action

      1. Review the Book to Action FAQs.
      2. Research & Know Your “Why” –  Review the Resources for Community Engagement, Partnerships, Programming & Outreach page. Explore #BookToAction on Instagram, past Book to Action blog posts, and the Book to Action YouTube Playlist. Before you start planning specific programs, have a clearly defined community needs statement and be able to explain the purpose and intention of the project to potential partners and community members.
      3. Find a Community Partner or Partners – Listen and involve your community partner in designing an engaging series of events and a community service project or civic engagement activity. Be clear about roles and expectations so all parties involved understand the terms of the collaboration. Consider putting the basic in writing. See Book to Action Webinar #1: Community Partnerships.
      4. Design a Series – Book to Action should be a series of events that encourages civic engagement: book discussions, author or expert talks, panel discussions, community conversations, workshops, demos, documentary screenings, and a community service project or civic engagement activity or activities. Encourage community members to experience the full impact of the series by participating as much as possible. If you already organize a “One Community, One Book” program, add an “action” component. Book to Action can be as a series of learning and discovery that culminates, or kicks off with, an action. Some libraries host their Book to Action events in one month and some prefer to spread them out over several. Embrace your role as a connector of people, ideas, and communities. Check out Get Involved | California Volunteers for ideas. Consider linking events to National Volunteer Week (mid-April), Women’s History Month (March) or César Chávez Day (March 31), etc. See Book to Action Webinar #2: Designing a Community Engagement Series.
        Book to Action The Yellow House book cover

        Book to Action 2021 Santa Barbara

      5. Invite the Author or Speaker – If applicable, see if you can get the author to speak. You might need to make arrangements through their representative, publisher, or speakers’ bureau. If an author’s fees are too high, the author is unavailable, or you feel that another speaker might have a stronger draw in your community, work with your community partner to form a panel or create a speaker series instead. Consider drawing up an agreement with the speaker or author that covers: fees, date, time, location, duration, etc.  Outline your expectations and include whether you want the author or speaker to make a presentation, read from the book, answer audience questions, moderate a panel, sign books, etc. In 2021, California Center for the Book will collaborate on three statewide events, one each for Equity, Sustainability and Health. These statewide events would be in addition to your library’s author or speaker funding. Note: California Center for the Book/CLA pays ONE entity directly for speaker fees. This can be an author, speaker, moderator, or nonprofit, etc.
      6. Encourage Diverse Opinions and Respectful Dialogue – When you focus on a book that highlights a social issue, you can expect that people won’t always agree with the author or with each other. Facilitate discussions that give people permission to respectfully disagree with each other. Set ground rules. Emphasize your role as a facilitator. Get help from your community partner or a professional moderator.
      7. Outreach & Marketing are key – Outreach, partnerships, and publicity are essential to the success of any Book to Action series. Write a press release (see examples). Make follow-up calls or emails. Offer to write an article (which media outlets might publish directly) and invite media to your events. Consult the PR or Communications Officer at the library or city/county system level. Distribute promotional materials to bookstores, cultural groups, and community centers. Contact high schools, community colleges and universities and let students know they can get service hours for volunteer events (if appropriate). Reach out to the Cal State Center for Community Engagement if one is nearby. Team up with a bookstore (see CA Independent Booksellers Alliance). Share on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Meetup, Eventbrite, NextDoor, etc. with #BookToAction and @CaliforniaCenterfortheBook. Create a Book to Action landing page on the library website, add all #BookToAction events to the calendar, and share in internal and external newsletters. See Book to Action Webinar #3: Virtual Programming, Marketing & Outreach Idea Exchange.
      8. Document, Evaluate and Share – For each Book to Action event, distribute community surveys, note the number of participants, and plan to report and reflect on this data (see Book to Action Documents & Forms). Document your events with photos, video, and social media posts. Invite community members and partners to talk about their Book to Action experience and tag all social media posts with #BooktoAction and @CaliforniaCenterfortheBook. See Book to Action Webinar #4: Planning for Evaluation and Case Study / Reflections.
      9. Collaborate & Communicate – Ask questions and share resources and ideas on Slack, by email, or phone. We are in this together! See Book to Action Webinar #5: Pre-Launch Check-In, Putting the Action in Book to Action, and Kick-Off Party
      10. Celebrate and Congratulation – Thank your internal team, your community partners, your supervisor and your self. You’ve just increased community engagement!

Chula Vista Public Library’s BTA 2021 title reveal on Instagram

Sample Book to Action Social Media, Videos, & Blog Posts with Program Summaries

Book to Action 2020, LAPL - The Misinformation Age

Book to Action 2020, LAPL – The Misinformation Age

Sample Book to Action Press Releases & News Articles

Book to Action Virtual Panel 2020, San Leandro Public Library

Book to Action Virtual Panel, San Leandro Public Library

Book to Action 2021 Info Sheet – Co. of SLO (see below for template)

Sample Book to Action Program Flyers and More


Book to Action Bookplate – Burlingame Public Library 2020

Burlingame Reads List of Events 2020




Support Statement for Promotions

Please include the following statement in your promotions. Available below in English and Spanish. Tiny font okay.

Book to Action is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

De Libro a Acción es un programa de la Asociación de Bibliotecas de California, apoyada enteramente o en parte por el Instituto de Servicios Bibliotecarios y de Museo de Estados Unidos conforme a lo dispuesto por la Ley de Servicios Bibliotecarios y Tecnología, administrada en California por la Bibliotecaria del Estado.

Your House will Pay book cover and speaker

Book to Action 2021 LAPL Felipe de Neve

Sharing on Social Media

Book to Action Logos

There are two updated Book to Action logos to choose from – one with the Putting Words Into Action tagline and one without the tagline. Both are acceptable and available as PNG files. Feel free to update the logo to match your Book to Action or library color scheme. EPS files are also available. Please contact us. Beginning in 2021, please do not use the red or yellow Book to Action logos found in the classic toolkit. Thanks to Doris Chen and Palo Alto City Library for creating the modern Book to Action logo versions and sharing for all to use.

Past Book to Action Programs

Learn more about the history of Book to Action. Review the Book to Action Books and Program Ideas (through 2020).  Learn more about past projects including the participating libraries, program coordinators, titles selected, themes explored, and community partners. See:

IMLS and Statewide Aligned Program Goals & Outcomes

      • Outcome 2b: Californians discover and participate in learning opportunities at the library
      • Outcome 3c: Californians connect and collaborate through their library
      • Outcome 7: California library staff is well-prepared to meet the diverse needs and effect positive change in their communities

Contribute to this Toolkit

We welcome your ideas and additions! Please let us know how we can improve this toolkit.

California Center for the Book is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

Toolkit last updated by California Center for the Book: 08/17/2021