This program is scheduled to re-launch in October 2021. Library applications will be released in June.

About LTAI

Since 1985, Let’s Talk About It (LTAI) has been bringing adult reading discussion groups together with humanities scholars in Idaho’s public libraries to discuss literature. These book readings and discussions explore American values, history, culture, aging, classics, and much more. The presentation by, and interaction with, a program scholar is what sets these sessions apart from traditional book club discussions. For more information on how the program works, please visit the project summary page, or contact Amelia Valasek (info at bottom of this page).

LTAI 2021-22 Season Schedule (PDF – Prints on 8.5 x 14 paper). The season schedule may change so please contact your local library directly for the most up-to-date information about their program.

Below is an “at a glance” list of the libraries participating in LTAI in 2021-22.  Please see the complete season schedule above for contact information, themes, book titles, and other details.

  • Ada Community Library (Lake Hazel Branch, Boise)
  • Boise Basin District Library (Idaho City)
  • Buhl Public Library
  • Camas County Public Library (Fairfield)
  • Coeur d’Alene Public Library
  • Clearwater Memorial Library (Orofino)
  • Garden Valley District Library
  • Grangeville Centennial Library
  • Kimberly Public Library
  • McCall Public Library
  • Meridian Public Library (Silverstone Branch)
  • Mountain Home Public Library
  • Rockland School Community Library
  • Salmon Public Library
  • Valley of the Tetons Library (Driggs)

The application and onboarding process will look a little different this year due to several factors. Additionally, certain timelines may change as we move forward. We appreciate your flexibility and patience as we get the program up and running again.

Library Application (available June 16)

The application has been significantly streamlined and can now be completed and submitted online (link below). Additionally, libraries will not be required to select specific book titles or propose their program schedule as part of the application. These logistics will be worked out with libraries once/if they are selected to participate. Please note that some theme materials are still being finalized. A draft list of book titles can be found on our themes and books page and may assist libraries in deciding which theme(s) to request.

  • Deadline – The application must be submitted by 5pm on Monday, July 12.
  • Eligibility – Any public library or branch is welcome to apply. Limited to one application per library district. Multi-branch libraries should coordinate their application.
  • Selection Criteria – The ICfL will select up to 15 libraries to participate in the program in 2021. We will consider several factors when reviewing library applications, including whether and when the library last participated in LTAI, ensuring regional representation for the state, the strength of the library’s application, and the availability of the library’s preferred themes.
  • What happens next – The ICfL will review applications and determine which libraries to accept for the program in 2021. Libraries will receive notification about their application by July 19th. See the timeline below under “Planning Information” for an anticipated timeline of next steps.

Application

Planning Information

The following information is provided to help libraries plan for and implement their LTAI programs:

  • Program Scope – Due to budget and capacity restraints, the program will be running at a reduced scope in 2021-2022. We will select 15 public libraries to participate in the fall 2021 session, and each library will be expected to host three discussion sessions. ICfL will be piloting a statewide virtual program in the winter/spring of 2022 in lieu of a second round of local programs.
  • Virtual Programming – Libraries are welcome to consider and include virtual options as part of their 2021 program. Libraries who offer virtual programs will be required to provide their own technology and should have the capacity to make this technology available to participants as well. Please note that not all scholars are willing or able to lead virtual discussion sessions.
  • Anticipated Timeline:
    • June 16 – July 12 – Application is open.
    • July 19 – Anticipated date for library selection and notification
    • July to August – The ICfL will work with selected libraries to assign themes, book titles, schedules, and coordinate with scholars to sign up for discussion slots.
    • September – The ICfL will send promotional materials and books to libraries. Library match fees are due.
    • Early October – Libraries will promote the program locally and recruit participants.
    • Late October to January 2022 – Libraries will host three LTAI sessions.
    • March 2022 – All books must be returned. Reports and surveys must be submitted.

While the program was on hiatus due to COVID, the ICfL and Humanities Council used the break as an opportunity to review and refresh the program and respond to some big changes, including a retirement and a pandemic! We have two new staff members at the ICfL who have taken the reigns for this program and are excited to be a part of it going forward.

During our hiatus, we sent a survey out to Idaho’s public libraries as well as to program scholars to get their input on what current themes they’d like to see kept and updated, as well as what topics they’d like to see developed into new themes. We also received feedback on what worked well in the program and what could use improving.

We put this feedback to good use to provide a refreshed and updated program for the 2021-2022 season. We also made some changes to the program to keep it nimble and adaptable as Idaho’s libraries recover in the post-COVID world and new ICfL staff get up to speed. Here are some of the biggest changes for 2021:

  • New and updated themes – We developed two totally new themes and updated five of our popular existing themes to include new book titles. Please see the themes and books page for more details.
  • Streamlined application for libraries – Our application process will include less steps and paperwork and will be totally electronic beginning this year.
  • Virtual options & flexibility – We will be offering a statewide virtual program in Spring 2022 and will work with local libraries where possible to support virtual local programming in the fall of 2021. We are also removing certain barriers to participation to make the program accessible to libraries as they get back up and running. These include reducing the number of sessions libraries host from 5 to 3 and removing minimum participant requirements.

In addition to the improvements listed above, we have several additional improvements on our radar for the future, including updated promotional materials and exploring options for incorporating e-books into our program inventory.

National Endowment for the Humanities logo
Idaho Humanities Council Logo

The Let’s Talk About It program is made possible by the Idaho Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which administers the Library Services and Technology Act, and the program is administered by the Idaho Commission for Libraries.

Amelia Valasek

Amelia Valasek

Program Supervisor
Email / 208-639-4138
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