Book Drive 2012 goes into overdrive
The number of attendees at the 2012 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books – 151,000 people according to the Times – wasn’t the only thing that broke records that weekend. USC’s annual book drive brought in a staggering 8,000 books, more than double last year’s donations.
“This year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC was a resounding success, and drew on the long-standing partnership between two of the oldest and most dynamic institutions in the city of Los Angeles,” said USC president C. L. Max Nikias. “Book drive donations grew to 10 times what they were at the start of our partnership – a success that reflects our shared dedication to celebrating the written word, while supporting libraries and classrooms within the USC Family of Schools.”
Book Drive 2012, sponsored by USC Civic Engagement and held in conjunction with the Festival of Books, collects new and gently used books to donate to children in the Family of Schools.
Jump-started by a generous 2,100-book donation from the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to promote a love of reading and music among underprivileged children, this year’s book drive had a target goal of 4,000 books.
“I attribute the success of the drive to our awesome USC Communications and Civic Engagement staff for getting the word out and to the generosity of the Trojan Family, both internal and extended,” said Kim Thomas-Barrios, director of the Family of Schools. “There are many big hearts out there who identify with USC’s efforts to give children in the neighborhood the gift of reading and the books to help them get there.”
Last year, USC co-hosted the book drive with Target and brought in more than 3,500 books, 500 more than its target goal.
“Each of our Family of Schools with a K-6 program, which would number 13, will receive an equal number of donated books,” Thomas-Barrios said. “Our six preschool programs will also receive a number of books that are suitable for reading readiness.”
Among the thousands of donors this year, she recalled one young lady from Oregon.
“She noticed that we were having a book drive for the kids in our neighborhood schools and decided that as part of her Sweet 16 birthday party, she would ask her friends to bring at least one book to her party,” Thomas-Barrios said. “She had her parents ship all of the books she collected to my office. What a wonderful testimony to the Trojan spirit of giving.”
Leading up to the festival, USC Civic Engagement compiled a wish list of books at festivalofbooks.usc.edu and at the Pertusati and Health Sciences campus bookstores.
Civic Engagement also manned a booth at the two-day festival, where they collected the books directly from donors.
In addition, for the first time people were able to donate books via online orders through the USC Bookstores, which delivered the books directly to Civic Engagement.
With this year’s book drive winding down, Thomas-Barrios already is looking forward to next year.
“We will begin planning and have an even larger drive months before the Festival of Books weekend,” she said. “We haven’t set a new goal yet, but it will definitely be more ambitious than this year’s.”