Since 2003, my friend, fellow author and blogger Pamela Ribon has done an annual charity drive wherein she picks a group of libraries who are in need of some timely donations and encourages all her readers (and others) to make a donation of books or cash to the libraries. This year she had gussied up her donation drive and found some co-sponsors (including Television Without Pity and Glarkware) and is debuting the donation drive under its new name and Web site, the Dewey Donation System.
This year’s donation drive focus is the Harrison County Library System, in Mississippi. Harrison County’s libraries were incredibly hard hit by Hurricane Katrina, with its two largest libraries, in Biloxi and Gulfport, gutted by the tidal surge created by the storm. These libraries lost all of their childrens’ books and much of their fiction and audiovisual offerings. Other libraries in the system lost some or all of their collections as well. Many of these libraries are still closed; all of them need to rebuild their collections.
The Dewey Donation System site makes it easy for you to pitch in: The site links you to the Amazon wish lists of the individual libraries in the Harrison County Library System. Browse through the things they need, and when you find something that tickles your fancy (and fits your budget), buy it. Amazon takes care of sending it to the library — no need for you to worry about how it’s going to get there. Then once you’ve made your donation, swing back by the Dewey Donation System site and let them know what you’ve donated. You’ll get your props for encouraging the cause of literacy, and maybe that will encourage others to donate as well.
I’ve been a big fan of this annual book drive since it began, not only because it’s helping preserve literacy — a big cause of mine, as you can guess — but also because it makes it so simple for me to do the right thing and send a book or two. Pick, click, done. I’ve donated this year like I always do (a copy of Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast to the Gulfport branch), and I encourage you to do the same — and to let other folks know this donation drive is going on. The Dewey Donation System site has PSAs and ad banners you can add to your own site if you like, but I think what would be even more effective, if you’re a blogger, is to do an entry and say, “hey, I donated. How about you?”
I wasn’t approached by Pamie or anyone else involved to do an entry about this, incidentally. I’m just happy she keeps doing it every year, and I’m happy to call attention to her good works when she does them. I hope you’ll join me in thanking her and the other sponsors of this drive, join me in donating to this cause, and join me in letting other folks know it’s happening.
So, to Pamie: Thanks. And to everyone else: Hey, I donated. How about you?