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Alerts:We want you to join California Reads!
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We want you…to join California Reads!

CLA encourages members to take part in an exciting new project – the California Council for the Humanities’ new statewide reading and discussion program exploring the theme of democracy – California Reads – conducted in partnership with the California Center for the Book. CCH and CCFB invite libraries to develop plans for community-wide reads and related activities, to be conducted between March and November 2012 using one or more titles from a slate of five compelling books: Farewell to Manzanar, A Paradise Built in Hell, Lost City Radio, It Can’t Happen Here, and an annotated edition of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Libraries are urged to be creative about working with community partners to develop activities that will engage patrons and residents of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. In addition to supporting reading and discussion programs, grant funds will support other types of public programming, including story-sharing or local history activities inspired by the book or related topics; a community forum or civic engagement activities focused on a theme or topic raised by the book; participatory or interactive programming such as creating a mural, exhibit, publication, or digital media project on a topic related to the theme of democracy; live or virtual presentations or discussions involving scholars, authors or others knowledgeable of the topics to be discussed; screening and discussion programs featuring a film-adaptation or films related to the book or a topic it addresses; or musical or performing arts programming. Grant funds can also be used for program-related staffing and administrative costs, as well as purchases of supplies and materials.
CCH and CCFB hope to engage a diverse mix of California communities throughout the state in the project – urban, suburban and rural, and are seeking representation from Northern, Central and Southern California libraries – both coastal and inland. To date, grants have been awarded to fifteen library jurisdictions ranging from $1,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the service population and complexity of programming plans. Participating libraries include Butte County Library, Fresno County Public Library, Fullerton Public Library, Hayward Public Library, Inglewood Public Library,  Monrovia Public Library, Monterey (City) Public Library, Newport Beach Public Library, Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, Riverside County Library System, San Francisco Public Library, San Leandro Public Library, Santa Monica Public Library, South Pasadena Public Library, and Tehama County Library.
For more information, please take a few minutes to visit the project webpage -- -- where you will find more information about the program, including a complete book list, grant guidelines, and other materials needed for the application.
You can sign up for a web-based information session on Tuesday, September 27, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at Or contact Mary Menzel, Director of the California Center for the Book: or 213-738-7055, or Felicia Kelley, Senior Program Officer at CCH, at or 213-346-3239. Both will be pleased to answer any questions you have or assist you in developing an application.
The application deadline is October 31, so don’t delay!