BOOKS TO KEEP
Getting started is simple!
No two Books to Keep programs will be alike. These are just some guidelines to get you started.
l. You can begin this program as a group of 2 to 100. Average size of the group is 10 to 20 dedicated volunteers.
2. Identify a local food pantry or soup kitchen where families with children come on a regular basis. Speak to the manager and ask if you could place one or two small boxes of children books. Your focus will mirror the age population, with an emphasis on babies to elementary school children.
3. Start shopping for gently used children's books at yard sales. Ask the owners if they would be willing to donate the books to your program. You may be pleasantly surprised. Talk with your local library about purchasing donated or discarded books from their inventory. Better yet, get your local library to endorse your project and assist in locating books for your group.
4. Once you have about 50 books, begin sorting them by age group. We work with 4 categories: Baby Board Books, Read Aloud, Chapter Books and Teen/YA (young adult) books.
5. Have a labeling party. You'll want to create a Books To Keep label for the inside of each book (see our label on Supplies Page).
6.Put about a dozen books in a clear plastic bin or box that will fit the area you are allotted by the pantry or soup kitchen. Make labels for the boxes so families become acquainted with your logo.
7.Set up a schedule for replenishing books on a weekly or monthly basis. If you have a large population of families, you'll want to check the boxes weekly to see what age groups are going fast. Then adjust your hunt for books to that age group.
8. Once you have mastered your first pantry or soup kitchen, find another and another. You want to reach as many children as possible in your community. You might even think about the local Senior Center - where grandparents might bring a book home for their grandchildren.
9. Publicity. Once you have your program underway, contact your local newspaper to spread the word of your program. We did and have received two nice articles; one, a front page article in our local newspaper.
Create a Facebook page and one on Instagram. Spread the word in your community and to the greater world.
Look for our Facebook page and join us.