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Next Chapter Book Club

June 3, 2015
Advance Planning

The program is very easy to organize and present, all without unexpected challenges. The key to success was having a partnership with an organization that serves community members with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers and families. Loudoun County Public Library (LCPL) staff received training at the Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) Conference, held in Chicago. This excellent training featured book clubs in action and myriad advice on beginning a NCBC. Training can also be provided at a library location by the Nisonger Center staff. The LCPL staff also constulted the publicatation written by the Nisonger center, "Next Chapter Book Club: A Model Community Literacy Program for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

To prepare, LCPL set the first book club date six weeks in advance, selected a title that had been suggested at the conference and bought refreshments. All subsequent book titles have been selected by the NCBC. The Arc/Paxton Campus featured the program on their homepage and promoted it to their clients and families. Other support groups in the community also provided the information to their clients.


The NCBC is promoted through The Arc/Paxton Campus and the County Department of Social Services and the Loudoun County Community Services Board. The program is also highlighted in the library's marketing and communication resources. The plan has been successful, with 12 to 15 participants at each session.

Budget Details

The grant was spent on training for the staff, books and food.

Day-of-event Activity

Staff set up the books and food.

Program Execution

The program has been running for 18 months, with each session attracting 12 to 15 participants. The reception of the program has been excellent, both from the NCBC members as well as the library staff participating. LCPL simply tweaked a long-standing library program (book clubs) to serve those who don’t, can’t or won’t typically participate. They are doing so without accruing more cost, facility or staff needs. 

Inherent in the program design is the library actively reaching out to connect with an underserved population and saying “we’re here for you.” LCPL staff was invited by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Libraries Agencies (ASCLA) to present at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference about their work in developing the Next Chapter Book Club in Loudoun County. Loudoun County Public Library received the 2014 Virginia County Achievement Award as well as the Customer Service Award for the Next Chapter Book Club.


Every community has an agency that the library can work with to present the NCBC. Find them and do it!

Short Title
Next Chapter Book Club

Loudoun County Public Library (LCPL) has developed programming aimed at reaching adult community members with physical and intellectual disabilities. The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) was established after a discussion about how many adults with disabilities are living in, but are not really part of, their communities.

NCBC is based on a model developed by the Ohio State University Nisonger Center and is presented in partnership with The Arc/Paxton Campus. The program offers bi-weekly opportunities, rather than an occasional outing, for people with intellectual disabilities to read and learn together – regardless of reading ability. Through NCBC, they have the chance to be members of a book club and discuss what they're reading in a relaxed community setting. The NCBC members determine practically all aspects of the group, including what book to read, how much they want to read and where they meet. NCBC members are learning, making friends and having a lot of fun. Several library systems throughout the country now offer the NCBC, including the Scotch Plains Public Library. Staff from LCPL contacted Scotch Plains for assistance and support.   The library won the 2015 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for Libraries for their program. 

Sign up for a webinar about the Next Chapter Book Club and other programming for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Program Date
Slideshow Images
  • Next Chapter Book Club members gathered around table for discussion
  • Participants show off their books at Next Chapter Book Club
  • Next Chapter Book Club members pose for a group shot

Loudoun County (Ohio) Public Library offers a book club designed for adults with physical and intellectual disabilities.