The Power of Story: Our 2015 Annual Report

The Power of Story: Our 2015 Annual Report

In surveys and interviews – nearly 350 to date – our participants’ stories confirm our aspirations: Books@Work provides a safe space to reflect and share, creating the conditions for effective collaboration and more diverse and inclusive organizations and community.

Books@Work is growing – and learning, which is why I am pleased to announce the release of our 2015 Annual Report. In it, we celebrate our learnings and discoveries. During the time this report covers – January 1 to December 31, 2015 – we served 586 participants in 40 programs in both company and community settings, partnering with 87 professors from 25 colleges in 8 states. Collectively, our participants read 101 books and many short stories.

Books@Work strengthens organizations, enhances individual and team skills, nurtures open and inclusive cultures and builds quality social connections among participants. By bringing narrative literature into the workplace, Books@Work encourages empathy and a greater tolerance for diversity. It gives us a space to think through deeply human issues and to exercise our voices.

Inside the report, you’ll:


  • Find out why we use exclusively narrative literature in our programs – and see examples of how narrative empowers individuals to share their stories and embrace others’ perspectives.
  • Learn more about the program’s layered impact, affecting individuals, teams and the culture of an organization – through the power of high-quality social interactions.
  • Explore last year’s unique lessons on the power of Books@Work in teams and in the community, and about the differences between the Books@Work seminar and the college classroom.
  • Find a summary of our research aspirations, information about our financials and an appreciation of our donors and partners.

We at Books@Work acknowledge the unbridled power of story, and we recognize that our own story is shaped by you – our friends, participants and supporters. Thank you for all you have done to make our journey to this point a success!

Download the Books@Work Annual Report here, or view it online.

Previous annual reports are available on our website.

Image: Toka Mitsuoki, Autumn Maple with Poem Slips, 1654, Art Institute of Chicago, [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Would you like to learn more? Subscribe to our newsletter and explore our blog, The Notebook. In it you will find program news, professor, participant and partner perspectives and discussions of relevant research and ideas

Ann Kowal Smith

Ann Kowal Smith

Ann Kowal Smith is the Founder and Executive Director of Books@Work.