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Bread for the Journey Sebastopol Kicks Off Fundraising Drive with Matching Grant
Written by admin, March 21st, 2010   

Big news today: Bread for the Journey Sebastopol has made a $1,000 pledge to our mission, and specifically to kick off a fund-raising drive to purchase a covered, walk-in style Bookmobile. Bread for the Journey is a fantastic group that nurtures neighborhood philanthropy by raising money locally and then offering relationship centered micro-grants. They have volunteer chapters across the nation and after meeting with us, the Sebastopol board members became very enthusiastic about funding our quest for a more suitable vehicle. They are quite literally putting up bread for our journey around the county!

Now that’s where you come in. Theirs is a matching grant: it is cash that will match your investment dollar for dollar. A $10 donation becomes $20, a $25 donation becomes $50, and so on. They are going to double the power of your investment. And what are you investing in? Expanded services, selection, and long-term sustainability. The Free Bookmobile has been welcomed far and wide, everyone goes home happy, and the question we now hear more than any other is “When are you coming back?” Unfortunately, the current trailer is our limiting factor. It was a great way to get started but the heavy book carts must be maneuvered up and down a steep ramp – it’s physically demanding work which I can’t reasonably ask other volunteers to perform. Volunteers could, however, easily drive a box-truck Bookmobile and open the door for patrons. This would mean a significant expansion of events as we recruit folks to give away books on additional days. Our goal is to visit each in the core group of twenty locations at least once per month, and to add schools with closing libraries to our routes. The latter is a crucial gap that needs filling as schools all over the county struggle with vanishing budgets.

There are other substantial benefits to the upgrade. Currently we are able to carry about one thousand books at any given time. A specially modified box-truck would allow us to offer tens of thousands of titles! With proper categorization, we are talking about a real mobile library. The self-contained structure would also permit us to run events in any type of weather and lighting conditions. We have been caught out on a number of occasions by rain and darkness.

Please take a moment right now to click over to the website and contribute to our efforts on the “Help Us!” page. It’s fast, easy, and your donation is tax-deductible through our new partnership with the Literary Arts Guild. Even $10 or $20 will make a big difference.

http://sonomacountybookmobile.org

If you prefer to mail in a check, you can do that! Please make it payable to “Sonoma County Free Bookmobile” and send to:

Literary Arts Guild
PO Box 159
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Thank you so very much for your support of Sonoma County’s only public-access Bookmobile!


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Roseland Health Fair Becomes Biggest Success To Date
Written by admin, March 21st, 2010   

The Free Bookmobile crew was thrilled to attend the Cesar Chavez Health Fair at Roseland Elementary School yesterday. We had a great spot up front and it didn’t take any coaxing to get the children to come see what we had on offer. In addition to our usual rolling carts and the Kids Klub inside the trailer, a couple of big tables displayed our Scholastic-style books (without spines) for all to browse. These were a huge hit. The adults, too, were finding lots to get excited about on the shelves. After four hours we had given away over one thousand books! This was easily our biggest event to date and we celebrated by driving to Cotati to give away more books. Good thing we loaded up the Suburban with lots of extras.

Though most of the Latino children selected books in english, our small supply of Spanish titles proved very popular as well. We continue to search out steady sources for these, especially for monolingual adults, and would greatly appreciate any leads. Do you know where we might pick up free Spanish-language books?

Many thanks to Kristen Mowers and the entire CalServes organization for a wonderfully organized Fair. There was lots to see and learn about, and Edgerrin and Sylvan (the Weaver Boys!) had a great time cruising around during their breaks from helping people at the ‘mobile. We look forward to joining this wonderful community event again next year.


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Major Partnership with the Literary Arts Guild
Written by admin, March 7th, 2010   

A huge milestone has been reached as we enter into a major partnership with the Literary Arts Guild (LAG), producers of the annual Sonoma County Book Festival. New Director Melissa Kelley and board member Karen Petersen feel strongly that LAG will benefit from the Bookmobile’s outreach activities, and we have already benefited from their expertise and local network of supporters. In addition, LAG has become fiscal agent to the Bookmobile, bringing us under their non-profit umbrella. Donations to our cause are now tax-deductible!

This allows us to apply for grants, foundation funds, and corporate sponsorship that would otherwise be off-limits. Melissa has been hard at work identifying appropriate avenues for both publicity and fundraising for the Bookmobile. She is creative and fun to work with. Our first goal is to purchase or otherwise acquire a larger vehicle, such as a delivery-style truck. With a bigger ‘mobile we can offer patrons a much larger selection of books, indoor browsing on rainy days, and a more frequent event schedule. We are currently limited to weekend give-aways because I work another job weekdays, and it would be imprudent to ask volunteers to haul the heavy book carts up and down the current ramp setup.

To learn more about LAG’s Book Festival, where thousands of readers meet dozens of authors, please visit: http://socobookfest.org. We are having a delightful FUNdraiser at Cinnabar Theater to support the Festival – a special presentation of Mark Twain’s comedy “Is He Dead?” There will be wines, cheeses, and an ‘everybody wins’ auction. Check out http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/99356 for more details, and I hope to see you there!


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