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Poetry in The Branches Sourcebook

The Poetry in The Branches Sourcebook is a step-by-step guide to the Poetry in The Branches (PITB) model for librarians, supplemented with a variety of bibliographies for collection development, tip sheets to help librarians create a place for poetry of your own that integrates poetry into every aspect of your library, and lists to help you find the resources you need.

The PITB Sourcebook covers four major areas: young adult programming, programming for adults, acquisition and display, and evaluation.


Young Adult Programming

One of the most successful and important components of the PITB model is programming for teens. Together with librarians, we build the tools to bring writing workshops to young patrons. We find that offering at least two four-session workshops per school year, coupled with a publication of the students’ work, is a powerful recipe for channeling the experiences and energy of teen library users. We hear from librarians across the country that poetry workshops reach teens like nothing else.


Programming for Adults

Live experiences with engaging poets can create a lasting connection between readers and poetry. The Poetry in The Branches Sourcebook gives librarians the tools to design and present events and connects them with poets who can reach their patrons. In the New York and Brooklyn systems, poets like Billy Collins, Joy Harjo, Philip Levine, and Sapphire have drawn capacity audiences. We recommend holding at least three events per year to build an audience.


Acquisitions and Display

A commitment to collection development and display is at the core of the PITB model. The Sourcebook gives librarians the information they need to set and meet goals for updating poetry collections, keeping them current, and making the books visible and enticing. In the earliest Poetry in The Branches sites in the New York Public Library, poetry circulation tripled.



Evaluation is a critical component of developing any new program. But in the case of Poetry in The Branches, the information gathered may be useful to other librarians, creating a national dialogue about poetry in diverse settings. Even if you are working on your own, written evaluation is part of giving yourself credit and learning how to improve your work. The section on evaluation gives detailed suggestions on how you can assess success.


Get the Sourcebook

The Poetry in The Branches Sourcebook is available for $35 ($28 plus $7 shipping and handling to anywhere in the U.S. Contact us regarding overseas shipping).

Send a check to Poets House at:

Poets House
10 River Terrace
New York, NY 10282
Attn: Poetry in The Branches

For more information, contact Poets House Support at