Palo Alto City Library Book to Action Series Will Foster Empathy and Build Community

Palo Alto City Library is excited to launch our Book to Action 2020 program! This series of events throughout the month of August takes its inspiration from the adult graphic novel, Wrinkles by Paco Roca. This humorous, and at times, heart-wrenching story of Emilio and his adventures in an Alzheimer’s care facility provides a window to the experience of living with Alzheimer’s. Free copies of the book will be made available to pick up at either Mitchell Park or Rinconada Libraries starting in July while supplies last.

Our series of virtual events is designed to spotlight the issues facing Seniors with the goals of helping to educate, foster empathy and build community with the hopes of lessening loneliness and isolation experienced by this vulnerable population, particularly those who are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our program series includes a fiduciary workshop, a book discussion on our chosen title hosted by the Graphic Novel Book Club, a documentary film screening as well as a talk by global health specialist and TED Fellow, Alanna Shaikh. You can see a full series of our events here: All of our programs will be virtual via Zoom with some recordings available via YouTube. The library was selected from a competitive group of applicants to participate in this California Center for the Book/California State Library grant-funded program.

Service Project

Throughout the month of August, the library will be hosting a service project called Letters of Love. We invite members of the community to write letters to Seniors living in care facilities. The library will collect these letters through August 24th and then deliver to local care facilities. A special teen-only workshop will be hosted on August 3rd.

When writing your letter please remember the following guidelines:

Be kind and thoughtful – think about the person who will be receiving your letter and the impact it will have. This is an opportunity to build a meaningful connection with a person who truly needs it.

Write with intention – be aware of the legibility of your writing, your grammar, and the stories you choose to share. Is this something that will resonate with the Senior and make them feel respected and seen?

Be creative – don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. Write a poem, include a sketch, add in a personal touch that will give the recipient a sense of who you are.

Looking for a Pen Pal? – If you would like to start a pen pal relationship with the person receiving your letter, feel free to include your name along with the library’s mailing address in your letter so that the Senior can respond. This is not required.

If you are able, please place your letter in an envelope, but do not seal it. Letters will be reviewed by librarians working on the Book to Action program before being delivered to the chosen care facility.

Drop off your letter(s) at Rinconada Library or Mitchell Park Library by August 24.

New Dementia/Alzheimer’s Kits

Alongside this program series, Palo Alto City Library is also excited to announce our new collection of Dementia/Alzheimer’s Kits, available for checkout at Rinconada Library starting in August. We have three different kits available: Memory Lane, Memory Activity and Caregiver Kits. (Link to catalog)

Palo Alto City Library is thrilled to be part of the Book to Action 2020 program, and look forward to building empathy and meaningful intergenerational connections to enrich the lives of Seniors in our community!

More information at

2020 Book to Action Schedule Palo Alto Library

About Book to Action

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.