When the Cybils are announced this Thursday, I know that many of you fellow Nerdy Book Club members will be celebrating — celebrating the good books that win, celebrating the good books that were written, and celebrating the fact that we get to be part of a community that relishes searching for good books that get kids excited about reading.
But, there are some amongst us who will not be celebrating…
The books. The books that for the past few months have been being read, re-read, picked apart and fawned over (as they were meant to be), who now face an uncertain future.
Their future is in your hands:
5 Better Homes for Your Cybils Books Than in Your Closet:*
- A waiting room – Look for a waiting room where children are stuck waiting and there are few to no good books available. Deposit your book overtly or covertly. If you had a little foresight, you could slap an International Book Giving Day sticker on the front cover to let people know that you left the book intentionally. If not, no worries. Simply scrawl a little note in the book along the lines of: “To the children who frequent this waiting room. With love.”
- A shelter or food shelf – Many shelters and food shelves will happily accept and distribute children’s books. During the recent economic downturn, homeless shelters have increasingly been serving children. Women’s shelters often serve women with children in tow.
- A school library – I have heard that library books are the most loved books.
- Books for Africa – Books for Africa is an excellent nonproﬁt organization and the number one distributor of gently used books to the African continent. You can send a box of books (gently used, relevant to the African reader) to Books for Africa or, if you live near the Twin Cities or Atlanta, deliver them to one of their warehouses. For more information, see Books for Africa: Donate Books.
- Goodwill (or your friendly neighborhood second hand store) – This last one is easy folks. While your books could end up anywhere, I guarantee that your books will end up being read more if you drop them off at Goodwill than if you leave them in your closet.
This week is the perfect week to both celebrate the Cybils and ﬁnd a new home for your Cybils books. Thursday February 14th — in addition to being the day of the big Cybils announcements — is International Book Giving Day!
International Book Giving Day is a day dedicated to increasing children’s access to and enthusiasm for books. (It’s kind of perfect that International Book Giving Day and the Cybils announcements are the same day!) We are inviting people around the world to celebrate by
- giving a book to a friend or family member,
- leaving a good book in a waiting room for children to read, or
- donating a book to local library, hospital or shelter or to an organization that distributes books to children in need.
To learn more about International Book Giving Day, see International Book Giving Day’s website!
- Add your name to the list of people celebrating.
- Download and print free International Book Giving Day bookplates designed by Nicola L. Robinson, Todd Parr, Debbie Ridpath Ohi and others.
- Download and print International Book Giving Day posters to hang in your library, school or community.
- Read about Colby Sharp’s plan for incorporating a little book giving into his classroom Valentine’s Day party.
- Consider participating in the International Book Giving Day blog hop.
- Learn how you can connect with others celebrating International Book Giving Day from around the world.
Amy Broadmoore is a mother, library science graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Chapaign, aspiring children’s librarian, former attorney, Cybils judge and founder/instigator of International Book Giving Day. You can find her online at http://www.delightfulchildrensbooks.com and on Twitter as @delightchildbks.