Book to Action Toolkit

Welcome! 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 to focus on engaging adults and intergenerational groups. Let’s create dynamic, action-oriented programming and share what we learn.

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

Book to Action 2021

Book to Action 2021 Documents & Forms

  • Book to Action 2021 Community Surveys – print & online options in both English & Spanish, required for LSTA funded initiatives including Book to Action (coming Fall 2020) – Due August 20, 2021
  • Book to Action 2021 Program Tracking Worksheet – A Google Sheets tracking tool with 2 tabs: Program & Attendance Tracking and Budget Tracking. The Google Worksheet is view only. Please download and save a local copy or track in any spreadsheet software you choose. Data will be needed to complete the Book to Action 2021 Library Report and Case Study document below. Do not submit your tracking worksheet.
  • Book to Action 2021 Library Report Google Form – Due August 20, 2021
  • Book to Action 2021 Case Study Document (fillable PDF) – Due August 20, 2021
  • Book to Action 2021 Toolkit Survey required for LSTA funded initiatives including Book to Action – Please complete in Summer 2021 – Due August 20, 2021

Book to Action 2021 Titles

Coming soon! Join the discussion on Slack. 
We are building a list of titles that spark interest and explore the issues below. Seeking fiction, memoir, nonfiction, graphic novels. We want to support learning in multiple languages, too! Let us know what titles are ‘must adds’ for the list. Titles that explore the intersection of one of more topic are welcome. Book to Action 2021 topics to be explored in communities across California:

  • Equity / Racial Justice
  • Sustainability / Environmental Justice
  • Health / Mental Health, Resilience & Physical Health.

Book to Action 2021 titles should meet most or all of the criteria below:

  • Engaging for a general adult audience (teen appeal is great too)
  • Preferably no longer than 350 pages
  • Published within the last 3-5 years, or recently enjoying a re-surgance
  • Available in paperback
  • Be thought-provoking rather than strictly “how-to” in nature, if nonfiction
  • California authors are a bonus!

Book to Action 2021 Community Partner Ideas

Coming soon! Join the discussion on Slack. 
Community partners, as always, will play a key role in Book to Action 2021.

Book to Action 2021 Documentary List

Coming soon! Join the discussion on Slack. 
Watch then discuss as a community. Build a panel of local community partners to apply lessons learned to your locale. Documentary producers are often excellent community partners and potential speakers, especially as films often offer discussion guides and resources for community members looking to get involved.

Book to Action 2021 Music Playlists

Coming soon! Join the discussion on Slack. 
Curated playlists of music to accompany your Book to Action program.

Steps for a Successful Book to Action Series

  1. Plan Early Give yourself time to research and plan. Develop a rough timeline of programs and possible activities. Stay open to input from your community partner and community. Review the Resources for Community Engagement, Partnerships, Programming & Outreach for Adults & Intergenerational Groups page. Explore #BookToAction on Instagram, our Book to Action blog posts, and our Book to Action YouTube Playlist.
  2. Get Input & Choose a Solid Community Partner Be clear about roles and expectations, so all parties involved understand the terms of the collaboration. Consider putting the basic in writing. Be sure your community partner is involved in designing an engaging series of events and a community service project or civic engagement activity.
  3. 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, s/he 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 find a speaker. You might want to draw up an agreement with your speaker or author that covers: fees, date, time, location, duration, etc. Be sure to 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. Note: California Center for the Book/CLA pays ONE entity directly for speaker This can be an author, speaker, moderator, or nonprofit, and may or may not be a community partner.
  4. Design a Community Service or Civic Engagement Activity (see the list at the end of this toolkit) Embrace your role as a connector of people, ideas, and communities, and make this fact clear to the program participants. Consult your community partner about the best ways to engage volunteers.
  5. Remember to Design a Series  Book to Action should be a series of events – book discussions, author or expert talks, panel discussions, community conversations, workshops, demos, documentary screenings, and a community service project or civic engagement activity. Encourage community members to experience the full impact of the series by participating as much as possible.  It’s okay to tie into an existing library, community, statewide or national initiative. For example, if you already organize a “One Community, One Book” program, consider adding an “action” component. Some libraries prefer to condense their Book to Action events into one month and some prefer to spread them out over several months. Think of your events as a series of learning and discovery that culminates, or kicks off with, an action.
  6. Involve High Schools, Community Colleges & Universities Contact local high schools, community colleges or universities to invite students to attend the Book to Action series of events.  Be sure to reach out to the Cal State Center for Community Engagement if you have one nearby. Be sure high school students know they can get service hours for your community service or civic engagement activity (if appropriate).
  7. Involve a Local Bookstore If you are not already teaming up with a local bookstore to promote author events or other book-related programs, Book to Action provides you with a perfect opportunity to initiate a relationship.  Start with the California Independent Booksellers Alliance.
  8. 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.
  9. Market Your Program Outreach and publicity are essential to the success of your 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) or invite media to your events. Consult your PR or Communications Officer at the library or city/county system level. Distribute promo materials to local schools, cafes, cultural groups, and community centers.  Be sure to post to all relevant social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Meetup, Eventbrite, NextDoor etc, in addition to your library website, calendar, and internal and external newsletters. Send California Center for the Book a co-host request for any Facebook events and we’ll gladly share. Tag your posts with #BooktoAction and @CaliforniaCenterfortheBook.
  10. Document and Share  Make sure to document your events with photographs and, if possible, videos.  Invite community members and partners to talk about their Book to Action experience and tag all social media posts with #BooktoAction and @CaliforniaCenterfortheBook.
  11. Evaluate For each Book to Action program you hold, distribute, gather and enter the data from the community surveys, record the number of participants, and plan to reflect and report on this data.

Book to Action Examples & Resources

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

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 with links embedded, when appropriate, 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.

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:

Monrovia Public Library 2020 Book to Action

Monrovia Public Library 2020 Book to Action

Contribute to this Toolkit

We welcome your ideas and additions! Please let us know how we can improve this toolkit by joining the Book to Action discussion on Slack

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: 09/12/2020