In it Librarians Do Gaga. That's right, as in Lady Gaga, changing her popular song "Poker face" into "Catalog." It is so worth the 4+ minutes of your time, so go watch!
Last fall Nancy and I collected books for a local school library. The funding was tight for the program (of course), and when a young new librarian looked over the inventory she discovered that half of the books were so worn and old that they were unusable (some were mildewed, others torn or drawn in, etc). No wonder kids didn't want to check books out at that school! When she told me this over dinner one night, we came up with the idea to run a book drive. And who has more books at their fingertips than the publishing industry??
When we reached out to editors and publicists that we knew at each publishing house, the response was enormous! We received donations from every major publisher and then some, in the end donating over 10 full boxes of books--some the latest and hottest YA titles, some classics, and some non-fiction. Needless to say, the librarian and the school were very grateful. It wasn't enough to fill a whole library, but we gave them a good start!
But I still can't help but wonder...what would have happened if we didn't donate those books? Funding is being cut for libraries across the country. What were once considered safe havens for children of any social status, they are now being closed down or given low-priority level in the budget.
In elementary school my sister and I were instructed to walk to the library (3 blocks away) and wait for my mom to get off work to pick us up. There we would sit in the children's section and gobble down books one after the other. In middle school my library is where I met my "boyfriend" for study dates. In high school it's where I researched papers and took out romance novels that my mom didn't know about (sorry, Mom!). My librarian is the one who introduced me to Tamora Pierce and ten years later...Harry Potter. I would have been *devastated* if any of those moments weren't part of my life. They're what made me the book lover I am today.
Support your local libraries!