Book to Action

Book to Action is a program framework that takes the basic book club concept and expands it to create a dynamic series of events for adults and multigenerational groups. Librarians work closely with a community partner. 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 2019, 25 libraries were selected to participate in creating a Book to Action series. 48 locations across California and more than 50 community partners will be involved. The full list of libraries, program coordinators, title selected, issue/theme, and community partners are below.

Each library receives:

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

Participating libraries agree to:

  • Collaborate with a community partner to design an impactful Book to Action series
  • Plan a Book to Action series that encourages community learning, connection, and volunteerism/community engagement
  • Actively participate and share best practices with fellow librarians and CCFB 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

2019 Book To Action Timeline

Book to Action Toolkit & Resources

2019 TOOLKIT – This toolkit is a living document reflecting the latest information about the 2019 Book to Action program. Please join us in improving the toolkit and program for everyone. Email suggestions to Updates automatically re-publish online.

“Classic” Toolkit   High-res 12MB  &  Low-res 4MB – This version of the toolkit had minor updates in 2016 and major updates in 2012. Some materials, logos, and information may be out of date or refer to previous incarnations of the program at the California State Library.  However the background information and examples are worth sharing and preserving.  

Book to Action Logos
These updated logos (without the the old California Sate Library URL) have a transparent background and are available for download below. Please use only the updated logos.

Book to Action logo-redBook to Action Logo-yellow

2019 Book to Action Programs

Library Program Coordinator  Title Community Issue/Need Community Partner(s)
Blanchard Community Library Justin Formanek Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man, and Their Journey Across America by Britt Collins Homelessness SPIRIT of Santa Paula, Project HOPE
Burlingame Public Library Elaine Tai March by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, ill. by Nate Powell Voter Education and Civic Engagement League of Women Voters of North and Central San Mateo
County of San Luis Obispo Public Library Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer Hey Kiddo, by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Childhood trauma influenced by addiction; opioid addiction; Art as a lifeline Behavioral Health (Drug and Alcohol), the SLO Opioid Safety Coalition, Restorative Partners, CARE trainers, Cuesta community college and high schools.
El Segundo Public Library Melissa McCollum There There by Tommy Orange Urban Native American and Indigenous Experiences El Segundo Museum of Art (ESMoA), City of El Segundo Arts and Culture Advisory Committee, City of El Segundo Recreation and Parks Department, El Segundo Unified School District, and {pages}: a bookstore
Goleta Valley Library Allison Gray Ocean Country: One Woman’s Voyage from Peril to Hope in her Quest To Save the Seas by Liz Cunningham Ocean conservation/environmentalism City of Goleta Environmental Services Department
Inglewood Public Library Tommy Vinh Bui Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay Complex issues of modern feminism contextualized by race, socio-economic factors, and immigration. Jessica Ceballos y Campbell
LAPL – Exposition Park Regional Library Eugene Owens Algorithms of oppression: How search engines reinforce racism by Safiya Noble Digital/Tech Divide in underserved and unserved communities in the City of Los Angeles DSTL Arts
LAPL – West Los Angeles Regional Library Ramin Naderi Bottom of the pot : Persian recipes and stories by Naz Deravian Supporting diversity in the West LA community West LA Chamber of Commerce, West LA Farmers’ Market
LAPL – Studio City Branch Emily Aaronson Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras Immigration and refugees International Rescue Committee and Reforma LA
LAPL -Edendale Branch Angi Brzycki The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner Women’s reentry after being incarcerated in Los Angeles County A New Way of Life Reentry Program
Mendocino County Library-Coast Community Library Branch Julia Larke The bee-friendly garden by Kate Frey and Gretchun Lebuhn Creating a pollinator friendly world, Citizen science research Local schools
Merced County Library-Delhi Branch Christina Castro A Dogs Purpose by Bruce Cameron Pet adoption and shelters Merced County Sheriff Department-Animal Control Bureau
Mill Valley Public Library Andrew Murphy The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham Immigration Multicultural Marin Center
Nevada County Community Library Laura Pappani Ties That Bind: Stories of Love & Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay Human Connection Nevada County Superintendent of Schools
OC Public Libraries – OC READ Susan Pina My Way Home: Growing Up Homeless in America by Michael Gaulden Literacy support for teen parents and families experiencing homelessness & financial difficulty Families Forward, and UCI Jumpstart
OC Public Libraries – Fountain Valley Branch Kimberly Banks The Longevity Project by Howard S. Friedman, Ph.D. and Leslie R. Martin, Ph.D. Social Connections/Community Involvement City of Fountain Valley Senior Center
Oceanside Public Library Monica Chapa Domercq Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond Housing Crisis/Homelessness City of Oceanside Housing Division
Ontario City Library – Ovitt Family Community Library & Chaffey High School Alysha Cisneros The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater Anti LGBTQ+ and Bullying Issues Chaffey High School
Orange County Public Libraries-Brea Branch Library Sofia Araya The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams Power of the natural world to improve health, promote reflection and innovation, and ultimately strengthen our relationships. Orange County Parks
Riverside Public Library Jon Andersen No Place by Todd Strasser Homelessness in Riverside County City of Riverside Office of Homeless Solutions & Path of Life Ministries
San Diego County Library – Fallbrook Branch Kris Jorgensen Vitamin N by Richard Louv Connection to the Natural World Fallbrook Land Conservancy, Boys and Girls Club, Sage Yoga, Fallbrook Health Care District, Angel Society, Friends of Fallbrook Library, and San Diego County Parks and Recreation
Santa Barbara Public Library Jen Lemberger The Unending Hunger: Tracing Women and Food Insecurity Across Borders by Megan A. Carney Food insecurity in Santa Barbara County Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Santa Barbara Foundation
South San Francisco Public Library Stacy Lein A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist’s Bicycle Journey Across the United States by David Goodrich Sustainable transportation choices San Mateo County Office of Sustainability, South San Francisco Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC)
Tulare County Library Carol Beers The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson Conversations about death and dying Kaweah Delta Medical Center, Tulare County Health and Human Services
Whittier Public Library Bonnie Weber Life is So Good by George Dawson Aging with dignity City of Whittier Community Services Department

Book to Action on Social Media

Facebook & Instagram: @CaliforniaCenterfortheBook
Hashtag:  #BookToAction

Book to Action History

In 2011, the Hayward Public Library, under the guidance of Sally Thomas, launched the first Book to Action program in the state of California. In 2012, ten California libraries received small LSTA grants to implement their own Book to Action programs – all with great success. In 2013, the California Center for the Book began administering the program on behalf of the State Library. Book to Action tied in closely to California State Library’s commitment to bolstering statewide volunteerism efforts, as seen in its initiative Get Involved: Powered by Your Library. In 2015, Hayward Book to Action became a collaborative effort between the Hayward Public Library and CSU East Bay. In 2017, Sally Thomas joined the California Center for the Book Advisory Council. Check out this video for an inspiring 2017 update on the evolution of Book to Action at Hayward Public Library.  The Book to Action model has also been replicated in both South Carolina and North Carolina. See lists of funded libraries, their selected books, community service partners and, in some cases, project videos below.

Learn more about past projects including the participating libraries, program coordinators, titles selected, themes explored, and community partners.


Book to Action Founding Library Video
To learn more about the first Book to Action program in California, watch “From Book to Action: One Library’s Story” (also below) 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.


Contact us if you have any questions about Book to Action!