Friday, February 3, 2012

Books for a Library?

At a recent HS Speech & Debate competition, I spoke with a fellow judge ... who just happens to be the librarian for our high school. So, we had wonderful discussion about BOOKS of course ... what else would we talk about?

"It must be so much fun picking out the novels for the library," I said.

She kinda scrunched her face and nodded. And, I thought that was a VERY non-excited reaction!! So, I asked another question!

"Do you have a significant budget for purchasing books for the library?"


"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I have a minimal budget for textbooks, and I have a zero budget for everything else, fiction and non-fiction."

"Are you kidding me? You're a high school library! Those kids need interesting books to read!!"

"I know," the librarian said. "The only way we are able to add books is through my own fundraising efforts, donations, and Eagle Scout projects."


Little-old-head-in-the-sand ME had NO idea.


Here's my question for you ... how can I rally blog readers and the writerly community to donate some books or money to help out this one (gotta start somewhere with something doable) library?

What are your suggestions for organizing, starting, and promoting this effort?

Help me figure this thing out ... and there might even be a cupcake (virtual of course) in it for you!!


  1. That's terrible! I wonder how many other school libraries are in similar predicaments?

  2. Google >> World Book Night. It's new to the US this year. They are giving away a million books to reluctant readers. I can't imagine them not giving books to a high school in need. Not sure how to become a recipient, but you might check it out through your local independent bookstore. That's who is organizing in my area anyway.

  3. Actually, this is probably the situation in most high school libraries across the country.

    In Pennsylvania, MILLIONS were cut from education, and libraries were the first to take the hit. Some schools I know of even fired their librarians.

    My ninth grade daughter tells me there are virtually NO novels in her library. Well, "classic" novels, and not much of them, really. Whatever budget they have is spend on non-fiction or digital book rights for text books.

    I work in my daughter's school district (I teach 5th grade). I WROTE a YA historical novel, and our high school didn't even buy MY book.

  4. I wish I could say I was surprised. The state funding for public education right now is beyond dismal, and so many folks working in public education have had to wrestle the funding dragon for so long that I think massive fatigue is setting in, hence the discouraging reaction you received from this librarian.

    An added burden - many districts have had to cut funding for their librarian positions, which means those folks have less time to peruse booklists and make informed decisions about what to order with whatever budget they do have, and most don't have time to engage in fundraising efforts themselves, so your offer is a real boon. Look for possible grants out there. I know there are tons of grant opportunities where I am, just not enough educators with the time to write and manage the grants.

  5. I think this is subpch a brilliant idea. Can I steal it for our local library too? We have the same problem.