Santa Clara County Library District now Offering Chinese Book Club Kits

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New service for Chinese readers

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – May 3, 2018 – Building upon the success of Cupertino Library’s Chinese book discussion group, the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) has created a new library service to meet the needs of its Chinese language-reading residents.  Book club kits enable groups of library patrons to hold their own book discussions with little or no effort.  The kits include 8-10 copies of the book and a discussion packet with author bios, a short summary and discussion questions to get the conversation going. 

The book club kit titles were chosen by SCCLD Adult Services Librarian Wen-Ying Jaw and volunteers from Cupertino Library’s long-running Chinese book discussion group.  There currently are 11 different kits, with plans to expand to 20 by the end of the year.  These can be checked out by any SCCLD patron for up to six weeks at a time. 

“The SCCLD staff are teaming up with several avid long-term Chinese book club members to develop these Chinese book kits,” said Jaw.  “Together, we are writing summaries and discussion questions, making use of the valuable experience of some of our book group participants.  We are very grateful to our long-term patrons, who are volunteering their time and talents to make these kits possible.”

Cupertino Library started its Chinese book discussion group in 2011 in order to give Chinese-speaking adults an opportunity to read and discuss literature in their native language.  Over the past seven years, the group has grown steadily through word of mouth.  Attendees come from all over the Bay Area for the bimonthly meetings.  The books and the discussion are in Chinese, but the authors are from all over the world.  The group is a welcome place for recent immigrants as well as long-time residents to form community around a shared love of reading. 

“We wanted to share Cupertino’s love of reading with other communities that might not have a Chinese book group,” said Clare Varesio, Cupertino Community Librarian. “These kits make it easy for any SCCLD cardholder to start a book group in his or her community.” 

Here is the list of titles currently available and the country of origin of their authors:

Verbrechen by Ferdinand Von Schirach (German)
Evicted: poverty and profit in the American city by Matthew Desmond (U. S.)
Out stealing horses by Per Petterson (Norway)
The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Korea)
What money can't buy: the moral limits of markets by Michael J. Sandel (U.S.)
Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa (Palestine/U.S.)
Wild Swan: three daughters of China by Chang Jung (China)
Too loud a solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (Czech)
Ding Zhuang Meng by Yan Lianke (China)
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (U. S.)
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (England)

To check out a Chinese-language book club kit, please visit
A story titled “The most popular Chinese book club in Silicon Valley” was recently published in World Journal.  Written by long-time discussion member and group co-facilitator Linyao Wu, the article is written in Chinese but can be translated to English using Chrome.  Find it here:

 Nancy Howe/Diane Roche/Erik Sanjurjo
 Santa Clara County Library District
 (408) 293-2326 ext. 3001/3080/3014

About the Santa Clara County Library District


The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 2 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, eBooks and extensive online resources accessible from home or work. In 2014, SCCLD celebrated one hundred years of service to local residents. For the last several years, SCCLD has been consistently recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2017, SCCLD was ranked among the top ten large libraries in the United States in the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service. In 2014 and 2015, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council.

The Santa Clara County Library District includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. In 2017, the Santa Clara County Library District had more than 328,000 library cardholders and welcomed 3.2 million visitors, who borrowed over 9 million items.