Tuesday, June 29, 2004

It's My Turn

This is the first time I've had a moment to make my own donations to San Diego.

I sent the Youth Services Department of the Vista Branch:

Been There, Should've Done That II: More Tips for Making the Most of College by Suzette Tyler -- Because man, they just push you out there without any kind of suggestions.

Poplorica : A Popular History of the Fads, Mavericks, Inventions, and Lore that Shaped Modern America by Martin J. Smith -- Proving the Internet is not a fad. Also, I totally would have checked this book out of the library when I was a kid.

Kids Who Laugh : How to Develop Your Child's Sense of Humor by Louis R. Franzini Ph.D. -- Chapter One: "Make Her Always the New Kid." Chapter Two: "Give Her Geeky Genes." Chapter Three: "Funny, Not Fast." Chapter Four: "There's No Such Thing As Too Much Television."

My First Spanish Number Board Book/Mi Primer Libro de Numeros en Espanol (My First series) by Nicola Deschamps
What Color Is It?/Que color es este? (Great Beginnings) by Pamela Cote
Leaping From a Public High to a Top U (Students Helping Students Series)

I'm also using my Amazon Associates program to donate, which means that on certain books I'll receive a small percentage of the purchase price at the end of the quarter. I'll tally up those amounts and send a monetary donation to the San Diego Public Library Foundation in our name.

A Letter from a Vista Branch Librarian...

Hi Pam,

My name is Sandy Housley, and I am a librarian at the Vista Branch of the San Diego County Library. I just want you and your readers to know that this whole thing has made our day here at the Vista Branch! We all keep clicking to see the latest number of items bought for our library system. It is just so heartwarming to see the generosity and appreciation for what we do. We're walking on air!!

Thanks to all of you!

Sandy Housley
Reference Librarian
Vista Branch, San Diego County Library

Hi Pam,

I sent Guardian of the Horizon, by Elizabeth Peters, and "Bear in the Big Blue House - Potty Time with Bear" to the Jacumba Branch. No reason behind the book choice, but I worked with the Bear in the Big Blue House muppeteers on a project a while ago and they were so much fun! They told me that this was one of their most popular videos with kids and parents, so I couldn't resist.

I also sent "When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman's Journey from War to Peace" Le Ly Hayslip to help remind people of the effects of war, and the video "Rebel Without a Cause", to inspire more rebellion in teenagers, to the La Mesa Branch Library. It seemed fitting, somehow...



Hey pamie -

I donated two books to the Rancho San Diego Branch library, because I liked that they were a new branch trying to help out a new community. I got them Statistics for the Utterly Confused, because I deal with statistics everyday and I understand how confusing they can be. I also got them 34 Essential Skills for Sewing With Confidence because I learned how to knit, sew, and make soap by checking out books in the library. That way, if I didn't like it, I could still have tried without investing a lot of money in it. Turns out, I don't really like to make soap.

Thanks for all of your help with libraries. My local library, the Sequoya branch of the Madison Public Library, was just hit by a tornado. I will be matching funds in the amount I spent for the Rancho San Diego library for them to help them out as well.


Hi Pam,

Last year, I was that person who donated a video to Oakland when I was unemployed, and you were worried about my hydro going unpaid. But I think the good karma worked, because I got a job shortly after, so here I am, donating again.

I sent the following to the Valley Center YA Branch:

My Not-So-Terrible Time at the Hippie Hotel, by Rosemary Graham,

Keeping You a Secret, by Julie Anne Peters, and

Freaky Green Eyes by Joyce Carol Oates.

Thanks for doing this, Pam. You’re amazing!



Just donated!

To the Vista Branch:

3 copies of Walden Two by BF Skinner, because that book is like my Catcher in the Rye —I have probably 5 copies in my own library just so I can hand it out to anyone who hasn’t read it before!

1 copy of Find Anyone Fast by Richard Johnson and Debra Johnson Knox, a priority one item on the wish list. I just hope this book is for looking up lost best friends (a la pamie) and not figuring out how to stalk people in witness protection….

Washington, DC

Hi Pamie -

Today I donated:

Arabian Nights
Dragons & Unicorns: A Natural History
Elisabeth: The Princess Bride
The Japanese Fairy Book

from the Rancho San Diego Branch Young Adult wishlist.

Thank you for all your work on this! I practically lived in libraries growing up and definitely lived in books so I think it's wonderful that you've organized this.


Pamie, I donated again this year! I sent New Paths to Power: American Women 1890-1920 and The Journal of Jedediah Barstow: An Emigrant On The Oregon Trail to the Rancho San Diego branch -- since we and most of our friends probably qualify as 'young families' it just felt right to send them there. Women rock, and so does History. Besides, I ate that Oregon Trail shit up when I was a kid. Do you remember the computer game? We had one Apple computer in our classroom when I was in elementary school -- it was probably a 'Lisa' or something arcane like that -- but the most awesomest thing in the world was to get to play Oregon Trail on that computer for a while in the afternoon. Well, that and making Print Shop banners and ripping the rows of holes off the edges.

Anyway, thanks for spearheading this effort again! My website, upon which I linked to your site and donation page (for all 3 of my regular readers) is http://affilare.typepad.com.

BUT, I was thinking maybe that you could provide a different link for my donations instead. I'm from South Carolina, and as lovely a place as it can be, it also consistently leads the nation in domestic violence statistics. And since women DO rock, and no woman should forget that she rocks, I'm requesting a link to Safe Harbor, a local organization that runs anonymous shelters and support systems for abused women and children. They take all sorts of donations -- money, food, general stuff -- and they do a tremendous lot of good in the community for a lot of people that don't have much of a voice. Since we're in the charitable, helping, and donaterly spirit and all. AND, donations to Safe Harbor are tax deductible.

Thanks so much for showing us again how the power of the internet can be used for good!

(And they even had a few showings of Fahrenheit 9/11 here in Greenvegas! I couldn't believe it, bastion of conservativism that it is. These are the things that offer a ray of hope to a liberal in Republican-land!)


Hi Pamie,

I donated to the Lakeside Branch Library. They are getting The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris.

I am so thrilled to be able to help! You rock, Pamie!


Wow, has it been a year already?

My boyfriend works at Amazon, and since he worked on this feature, he'll kick me if I don't mention it... Amazon has recently implemented a feature called Wishlist Priority. Every Wishlist and Registry has this feature, and a lot of the libraries are using it to denote their most-needed items.

At the top of the Wishlist, go to the "Sort by:" drop-down box and select "Priority (high to low)".

The Lakeside Branch (who used Priority, naturally) is getting

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - The Definitive Edition;
Covered Wagon Women: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1852: The Oregon Trail;
and Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails 1852: The California Trail.

I've been on a big autobiography kick lately.


I'm so glad you're doing this again. I couldn't afford to donate to Oakland and promised myself I'd help "next time" if I could manage it. Thanks to your new efforts (and my new job!) I was able to send "A Fish Out of Water" to the Rancho San Diego Branch Library.

You're an inspiration, honestly.


Hi Pamie,

I donated to the Valley Center YA Branch:

Please Don't Kill the Freshman, by Zoe Trope;
Deep, by Susan Vance;
and Jake, Reinvented, by Gordon Korman.

I picked the first two because they were "must haves", and the last one because I was a big Gordon Korman fan growing up.

Thanks for doing all this!



I sent "The 7 Essentials of Graphic Design" to the Rancho San Diego Branch.

Thank you.


Hey Pam,

I sent the Lemony Snicket books 8-10:

The Hostile Hospital, (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 8)
The Carnivorous Carnival, (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 9)
The Slippery Slope, (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 10)

(I, too, couldn't resist the whole lemon grove/lemony snicket connection). I'd appreciate a link to milkpan.com (though it makes me feel a little dirty, like I wasn't donating for the sake of donating).

And don't worry about putting me in for the drawing/prize, because I went and bought your book today (20% off for government employees at Borders this weekend!).

Reasons why I think you're awesome:

-the pacing on your engagement story was immaculate!
-you seem to love gilmore girls as much as I do
-you use your blog traffic for worthwhile things like libraries



Dear Pamie,

I ordered three "Must Haves" for Lakeside, which should be on their way:

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - The Definitive Edition
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1)
Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia (Women in World History, Vol 15) -- they still need volumes 16 & 17 to complete the set, if anyone else is feeling generous.

Donated in honor of my mother the librarian who raised me to love books and libraries.

Best of luck on the 2nd annual book drive!


I sent books to the Poway Children's Branch:

Bark, George

Thanks for getting us all doing this,

Seven Books!

Thanks so much for picking San Diego as this year's library drive recipient. I pretty much grew up in the El Cajon branch (literally - I spent more hours than I can count exploring the shelves) although if I were a kid now I'd live closer to the Rancho San Diego branch. Therefore, they both received donations.

El Cajon got The Extraordinary Works of Alan Moore by George Khoury and Alan Moore because, well, it's Alan Moore and any library that recognizes his particular genius deserves to have the book;

The Unwelcomed Assistant: Edward C. Huffaker and the Birth of Aviation by Steven Hensley because of San Diego's long aviation history (and in honor of my dad, who used to keep a small plane at nearby Gillespie Field;)

and Party of the People: A History of the Democrats by Jules Witcover because it's rather Republican in those parts (or at least it was when I lived there) and, well, anything to get the other party's name out there in an election year.

Rancho San Diego got Magnificent Monologues for Kids (Hollywood 101) by Chambers Stevens for the kids who spend summers at San Diego Junior Theater;

A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 6 and Book 9 because they were high on the priority list and an incomplete collection of Lemony Snicket is a sad thing indeed;

and Knights & Castles: 50 Hands-On Activities to Experience the Middle Ages because my eight-year-self thought it sounded like fun and my thirty-something self thought it sounded educational. (Plus, I currently live in England, and wanted to spread the medieval love around.)

Thanks again for doing this! My best childhood memories thank you.


[Chandra made us hit donation number 100!]

A friend wrote to me today raving about a hilarious new book, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" by Lynn Truss. Tonight, I ran across your library donation site link on John Scalzi's AOL blog (I love that guy, don't you? [I sure do. - p] ), peeked around at some of the lists, and don't you know that one branch wanted that exact book!

Well, when the Universe goes out of the way to boot me upside the head with a request, I don't argue. So, the check is in the mail (for real!) and the book will be on the way very soon.

Thanks for this wonderful opporunity to feel like a really cool person!


I donated "Great American Prose Poems : From Poe to the Present" to San Diego's Alpine Branch the other day. I'm so excited to help out and while I can't give much, I'm letting everyone I know about this very worthy cause. Who hasn't spent hours lost in the stacks at her local library as a child (or now?)?

I'm also planning on establishing a book drive for my college's library when I return to school in the fall. As a state college, we have faced massive budget cuts and currently the library's budget is at zero dollars. I'm hoping the kindness of the web community can assist my school, even at a small percentage as the kindness these libraries have
recieved (more details to follow!)

Thanks again, pamie! You ROCK!


First Librarian Letter!

Hello, Pam. My name is Betty Waznis and I supervise collection development and technical services for San Diego County Library.

We are overwhelmed with gratitude at your project to help our library. It is absolutely amazing to see the support and enthusiasm you have generated. I can assure you that every single one of the donated items is going to find a good home. We just finished a year of a severe cut in our materials budget, a step that was taken reluctantly just to keep our doors open. We are hoping for a better year to come. To realize that you had stepped forward to help us was just astonishing and so very very encouraging.

Can I ask how our library system came to your attention? I am familiar with the good work you did for Oakland Public Library. Reading about it last year was one of the reasons we started our own Amazon wishlist project here. We have already received more in one weekend from your donors than we did in the first three months on our own. We feel very lucky.

Thanks again so very much.

Betty Waznis
Principal Librarian, Collection Development/Technical Services
San Diego County Library
5555 Overland Avenue, Building 15
San Diego CA 92123
858-694-2438 phone
858-495-5981 fax


Hi, Betty!

I picked San Diego this year for a couple of reasons.

During the Oakland Book Drive, two of my friends lost everything in a fire. The same people who had donated so generously to Oakland then turned around and donated supplies and money to two of my best friends. When my friends heard about the fires in San Diego, they pleaded with these same people to help out. Now that it's a year later and Oakland is a little bit more on its feet and my friends are getting their lives back to as close to normal, San Diego seemed like the place that needed us the most, both because of the library budget and the damage due to the fires.

Also, you had Amazon wish lists for different counties. Part of the fun of the book drive is the element of surprise. You made it easier for us to swarm you with books. I checked out other library and school systems that had wish lists, but yours was extensive, with descriptions of the different branches, and well-stocked with requests.

Let us know if there's anything else we can do. Particularly: is there a location where we can send gently used books, or new books from our own collection? Is there an independent bookstore in the area who would be willing to work with us to send bestsellers and must-have books to you without the need to go through Amazon?

We're here if you need anything, and we're happy to help.

Happy Box Opening,