Book to Action 2020

Book to Action is a framework that takes the basic book club concept and expands it to create a dynamic series of events for adults and intergenerational groups. Librarians work closely with a community partner to develop a series of programs. Community members read and discuss an engaging book on a current topic, attend author or speaker events, and put their new-found knowledge into action by participating in a community service project or civic engagement activity related to the book.

In 2020, 26 Book to Action series took place at 90 library locations across California. 

Each participating library received from California Center for the Book:

  • $1,000 value/books shipped from Ingram, to give to the public for Book to Action
  • $1,000 author/speaker fee, paid directly to the author or speaker of choice

Participating libraries agreed to:

  • Attend the in-person orientation if possible (see below)
  • Collaborate with at least one community partner
  • Plan a Book to Action series that encourages community learning, connection, and volunteerism/community engagement
  • Ensure community surveys, program data, and final reporting are completed
  • Actively share best practices with fellow librarians and program staff

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

2020 Book To Action Timeline

  • July 22, 2019 – Applications Open – see Planning Document
  • August 15, 2019 – Applications Due
  • August 23, 2019 – Program notifications made
  • October 24, 2019, 2:00PM – 5:00PM – Book to Action Orientation CLA Pre-Conference Session
  • August 31, 2020 – Programs Complete, Community Surveys, Speaker Payments, and Library Reports Due (updated March 2020) 

2020 Book to Action Community Surveys & Library Report

Be sure to track attendance and offer community surveys at every Book to Action event in your series. 

Community Surveys
You may offer the community surveys either online or in printed format.  Be sure your library name is selected from the drop-down menu. Once surveys are returned, please enter them at the SurveyMonkey link below.

  1. Book to Action Community Survey – English (MS Word)
  2. Book to Action Community Survey – Spanish (MS Word)
  3. Book to Action Community Survey –

Library Report
Please see the Book to Action 2020 Library Report Planning Doc for required information. Once your Book to Action series is complete, enter the Library Report online at

Book to Action Toolkit & Examples

Start with the Book to Action TOOLKIT for program history, community partnership and programming ideas, community surveys, and program tips. See the list of participating libraries and titles, along with social media posts below and the examples in the toolkit, as further inspiration.

Book to Action 2020 Participating Libraries & Program Information

Book to Action 2020 participating libraries met many challenges. Most libraries had just started to produce their Book to Action series in January or February 2020 and then the coronavirus pandemic hit and statewide stay-at-home orders came in March 2020. This meant library staff quickly and completely re-imagined their programming, moved discussions and panels online, re-negotiated details with community partners, figured out ways to distribute books that might have been in closed buildings, and pulled together new ideas and ways to connect with their community. Below you’ll find blog posts from featured Book to Action 2020 programs. Click on each Library Name to learn more.

Library Coordinator Title
Anaheim Public Library – Haskett Branch Mary Nuttelman Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault by Cathy Guisewite
Beaumont Library District Allison Peyton Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
Burlingame Public Library Elaine Tai The Collected Schizophrenias by Esme Wang
Chula Vista Public Library Tara Davies The Nature Fix by Florence Williams
County of San Luis Obispo Public Libraries Erica Thatcher Food Activist Handbook, by Ali Berlow & Letters to a Young Farmer, edited by Martha Hodgkins
El Segundo Public Library Roslyn M. Templin What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object that Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning by Bill Shapiro and Naomi Wax
Goleta Valley Library Allison Gray Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man & Their Journey Across America by Britt Collins
Los Angeles Public Library – Hollywood Regional Library Angi Brzycki Urban Tumbleweed: Notes from a Tanka Diary by Harryette Mullen
Los Angeles Public Library – West Los Angeles Regional Library Ramin Naderi The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread by Cailin O’Connor, James Owen Weatherall
Monrovia Public Library Stefanie Ulate The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
Orange County Public Library – OC READ Elizabeth Romero Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus
Palo Alto City Library Alison de Geus Wrinkles by Paco Roca
Palos Verdes Library District Laura Ishizaka Why They Marched by Susan Ware
Paso Robles City Library Karen Christiansen Evicted by Matthew Desmond
Riverside County Library – Glen Avon Regional Library Ivan Aguirre Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
Riverside Public Library Jon Andersen Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
San Diego County Library – Rancho Santa Fe Branch Kathy Jung Rescue Dogs by Gene Stone/Pete Paxton
San Diego County Library – La Mesa Branch Jake Sexton The Quarter-Acre Farm: How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family for a Year by Spring Warren
San Diego Public Library – San Ysidro Branch Itza Vilaboy Album of Fences by Omar Pimienta
San Leandro Public Library – Main Library Armando Rivera They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
Santa Barbara Public Library Jen Lemberger Where Reasons End: A Novel By Yiyun Li
Santa Clara City Library Helen Lutke Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff
Santa Clarita Public Library Joanna Ritchie Garbology by Edward Humes
SJSU –  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Peggy Cabrera Being the Change: How to Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus
South San Francisco Public Library Stacy Lein The Conscious Caregiver by Linda Abbit and Holding the Net by Melanie Merriman
Upland Public Library Katherine Laird Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


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Participate in our Book to Action programs remotely with a kit we'll mail to you! Our book selection is "The Nature Fix: why nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative" by Florence Williams. The kit includes a free copy of the book, trail map, compass, local plant identification guide, seeds to start pollinator and victory gardens, and more activities meant to inspire you to incorporate more nature in your life, even if you're stuck indoors. Please email ? or send us a DM to receive a Book to Action kit by mail! ? *while supplies last* 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. #CVPLatHOME #EXPLOREcvpl #booktoaction #booksconnectus #cvplreads #nature #naturefix #chulavista #thisischula

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