Arizona Center for the Book

Arizona Center for the Book Logo





About the Arizona Center for the Book

The Arizona Center for the Book at the Arizona State Library sponsors programs that highlight the state’s literary heritage and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries.

The Arizona Center for the Book is an affiliate of the National Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Starting in 1984, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress began to establish affiliate centers in the 50 states. Today, there is a State Center for the Book in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Arizona Center for the Book at the Arizona State Library received its designation on January 2, 2004.

Arizona Center for the Book Programs

Please click on any of the following links to find more information regarding the Arizona Center for the Book programs:

Arizona Community Reads

Arizona Community Reads programs encourage everyone in a city or neighborhood to read the same book.  Reading the same book together can help communities connect over a current issue in civil discourse, encourage parents to read with their children, or simply create a creative way to introduce neighbors who may have never met.  They are versatile programs that can support a variety of initiatives, from getting a community together to discuss a current issue in civil discourse, to encouraging parents to read with their children, to tackling illiteracy.  Community Reads programs can include book talks, facilitated discussion groups, author visits, and more.

The following libraries were awarded Arizona Community Reads grants in 2017:

  • Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library;
  • Prescott Valley Public Library; and
  • Sedona Public Library

To find out if an Arizona Community Reads program is coming to your area, contact your local library.

The Arizona State Library is sun setting the ONEBOOKAZ program.

ONEBOOKAZ has had many forms and evolutions over its 14-year history.  The ONEBOOKAZ program began in 2002 with the title selection of Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver.  In the following years the program grew, introducing teen and kids titles into the program.  In 2008, ONEBOOKAZ began its ‘Read to the Centennial’ series, focused on Arizona-based books for the five years leading up the Centennial in 2012.

After a hiatus in 2013, ONEBOOKAZ returned in 2014 as ONEBOOKAZ digital, focusing on digital literacy and highlighting ebooks self-published by local Arizona authors.  Local writers submitted their ebooks and a kids, teens, and adult title were selected and made available to anyone in the state of Arizona.

After much reflection, discussion and feedback from the library community, instead of ONEBOOKAZ, the State Library will offer new opportunities for engaging with literature such as Arizona Community Reads (mentioned above). Over the years ONEBOOKAZ has brought communities together to appreciate literature and discuss shared issues. We heard that book discussions and author visits are still popular, although the digital format was less successful. Please continue to let us know how we can help support your communities so that LSTA dollars can be applied to the greatest possible effect.

Past ONEBOOKAZ selections

Note: The previous OneBookAZ website ( is no longer owned nor operated by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.

Early Literacy Library Programs

Arizona Center for the Book at the Arizona State Library supports the work of libraries throughout the state with literacy programs for children from birth to five years old.

It’s never too early to build a child’s literacy skills.  Talking and singing with babies is a great way to start.  Reading aloud to children from birth helps build literacy skills and a foundation for language development.

Libraries have books, music, family-friendly spaces, programs and librarians to help parents and caregivers build children’s early literacy skills.  To find a library near you, visit our Library Directory.

To learn more about early literacy, why third grade is an important milestone, and what Arizona law says about reading requirements for third grade students, download this Early Literacy Guide for Families, produced by Read On Arizona.

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels.  Students can participate through their school, or they can enter the contest individually by submitting a letter. Watch this space for the Arizona winners to be announced this spring.

Congratulations to the winners of Letters About Literature 2017!:

  • Level I – Jolie Cowing, Gilbert, who wrote to Dr. Seuss, author of The Sneetches
  • Level II – Isabel Love, Phoenix, who wrote to R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder
  • Level III – Nicole Gehret, who wrote to Jhumpa Lahiri, author of The Namesake

Literary Landmark

A service of United for Libraries, a Literary Landmark™ is the designation for any special location in a community that is tied to a deceased literary figure, author or his or her work. Arizona’s first Literary Landmark will be dedicated in honor of author Barbara Park on May 5, 2017 at the Cherokee Elementary School in Paradise Valley. Stay tuned for details.

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. Over its 16 year history, the National Book Festival has become one of the pre-eminent literary events in the United States. The Arizona Center for the Book takes its place each year in the Pavilion of the States, and offers activities and literacy-linked items such as Rings of Rhymes and Southwest Books of the Year guides.

Every year, the also Arizona Center for the Book contributes a title to 52 Great Reads, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states. The 2016 Great Read was My Tata’s Remedies: Los remedios de mi tata by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford.

Southwest Books of the Year

Southwest Books of the Year highlights outstanding works of fiction and nonfiction that feature a southwestern setting or subject. The publication is produced by Pima County Public Library and the Arizona Center for the Book helps distribute up to 12,000 copies of the publication to public, tribal and academic libraries outside Pima County.

Summer Reading Library Programs

Summer reading programs are an effective, fun way to combine reading and related activities into summer family time.  They also have these reading benefits for kids:

  • Reading gets better when you practice it.
  • Reading helps improve writing style.
  • Children read more when they listen to and discuss stories, so get the entire family involved.

Readers who are unable to read standard print due to a visual or physical limitation can still participate in Summer Reading.  Please contact the Arizona Talking Book Library for more information about books available in audio and Braille formats.

To see if your library is participating in an online summer reading program go to or visit your local library to learn other ways to participate in summer reading.

Writers in Residence in Libraries Mini-Grant

The Writers in Residence program promotes writing in communities by connecting local, professional authors to serve as Writers in Residence at local libraries. Writers in Residence spend time at the library during their residency composing new works and providing education for community members.

Applications are currently being accepted for this program. For more information please review the grant guidelines. Applications are due at program are due at 11:59 PM, November 10, 2017.

For more information on this program, or if you are an author interested in participating, contact Amy Ledin.