Action Book Clubs across the country are combining reading with community service—and having fun along the way! In this series, we’re highlighting some of our favorite reading groups. To find out how you can start an Action Book Club of your own visit the program’s web page.

Action Book Club Location: Belvidere, New Jersey
Good Read: The Little Engine that Could
Good Deed: Bringing books back into their little town

When a small town in New Jersey lost access to two public libraries, four teacher friends decided to form an Action Book Club. They love reading and want to make sure everyone has access to books, says club member Kathi Rosner-Gross.

“Our town used to have two libraries, a country library and a town library. Within the course of a couple years one relocated a few miles away and one closed its doors,” Kathi explains. “Many people in our town do not have cars and are unable to walk to the new library. Our goal was to put books back into our town—make them available to anyone and everyone, no matter what age.”

The club collected books from the closing library, and when their schools combined, they collected even more books and began sharing them with the community.

“We started two Little Free Libraries in the most frequently traveled areas,” Kathi says. “During the summer we loaded up with ‘Summer Reading’ books for the middle and high schoolers. I have little kids read a book on my porch and go back for another, and another. I have little old ladies walk down every couple of days for new mystery books, and I have a man come and get books for his invalid wife . . . all because they can’t drive to the library!

“In return, they love sharing some of their favorite books, putting them in for others to enjoy.”

Kathi offers this advice for other Action Book Clubs: “Keep with it! Pick something meaningful to you and let the rest fall into place.”

Photo courtesy of Kathi Rosner-Gross

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