"Let's Talk About It" is a reading and book discussion program model launched on a nationwide level for libraries by the American Library Association (ALA) in 1982.
The program model involves reading a common series of books selected by a nationally known scholar, and discussing them in the context of a larger, overarching theme. Reading and discussion groups explore the theme through the lens of the humanities -- that is, by relating the readings to historical trends and events, other works of literature, philosophical and ethical considerations.
For more than thirty years, the model has been adopted -- and adapted -- by hundreds of libraries across the country. "Let's Talk About It" has reached more than four million people around the United States.
- Libraries interested in hosting their own "Let's Talk About It" programs can review and acquire program materials related to more than thirty discussion themes.
- Please read the testimonials from librarians who have hosted "Let's Talk About It" programs for practical insight and encouragement.
It is hoped that the reading and discussion programs developed through "Let's Talk About It" will help participants come to see firsthand the ways in which the humanities give profound meaning to the human experience.
The format for a "Let's Talk About It" program involves a ten-week series on a given theme. A discussion group meets with a local humanities scholar in the library. Every two weeks the group comes together to discuss a theme-related book they have all read. The scholar opens the program, bringing the book to life, provoking the group's curiosity with insights and background on the author and the work. At the same time, the scholar relates the reading to the theme, raising questions and creating a catalyst that sparks discussion. The audience breaks into small groups to talk about the book, share ideas and raise more questions. The large group reconvenes for final discussion and closing comments.
The original development, design and production of "Let's Talk About It" themes was made possible by a grant to the ALA from the National Endowment for the Humanities.