6.21.2010

What's Next?

I've recovered from the YWCO book distribution. My house hasn't, but I have.

My thoughts are turning to what's next. My head is crowded with ideas but I'm still only one person, so I'm taking some time to mull things over and make sure I don't over-commit. Here's what's on my mind.

Book Inventory:
It's small. I'd guess I have about 200 books but will count later. I'm tentatively considering a goal of 2,000 books by May, which would let me adopt 2 schools. BookMooch hasn't responded to my request for a charity account. I've got to find more book donors, but how?

Sponsorships:
Should I contact local businesses to see if they'll adopt a grade? A school? A kid? There are books the kids want (Diary of a Wimpy Kid!) that I rarely see at thrift stores. I love the idea of having a business or neighborhood or church buy the books new and donate them to a specific grade or school. But how much work will that be, and can I really do it all?

Volunteers:
Speaking of how much work it might be... should I recruit volunteers? Managing volunteers could become a job in itself. I may just continue to rely on the kindness of strangers and focus more on efficiency.

Efficiency:
One of these days I'll go back to work. I need to streamline. Should I quit thinking of ways to make the program perfect and just focus on getting as many books in kids' homes as quickly & easily as possible? Specifically:

- The alphabetized library & searchable inventory are outta here. I'm sorting books by reading level and boxing them that way. If someone tells me they have 50 second graders, I pull a few boxes and I'm done.

- I have labels and bags on hand, but once that inventory is depleted should I discontinue these "extras"? Ink is expensive and my printer is really slow... the labels in particular might have to go, but that makes me sad.

- It's so easy to collect the popular series books, and the kids WANT them. Should I focus more on a few series titles, and stop going out of my way to collect award winners or "recommended reading" books? I'm trying to rationalize that summer reading should be fun so I should collect Junie B Jones by the truckload. We'll see.

Blog Update:
I've been holding off on adding more info to the blog until I get the design done. It's moving so slowly and it's getting frustrating. But in the grand scheme, the blog design is the least of my issues so I'll just continue to hope...

While I mull things over, one thing hasn't changed: I NEED YOUR BOOKS. I can't bank on a BookMooch account to build my inventory. I need donors. Tell your friends, your families, your neighbors. Visit your thrift stores and library sales. Remember Books for Keeps next time you see a yard sale. Clean off your bookshelves. Most importantly: don't assume someone else will send me their books; I need yours. Books books books books books.....

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how sponsorships work, but if they were on a period basis (so much per month, per quarter, per year), would it be much work after it was organised.
    Would a Kinko (is that it's name?) or some copyshop be able to sponsor you by making labels? How do the kids feel about the labels?
    Are you getting any publicity in the local papers? If not, telephone them; they're always looking for stuff to print. Plea for volunteers when you're interviewed. Don't organise them; they can read the blog and keep up with what you need. Every month or two have an organising party: Everyone brings a dish for lunch or tea and you all sort the books together.
    If the kids are getting 3 books, I think 2 popular books and one classic or prize-winner is the way to go. If they get used to reading, they might be led to better stuff.
    You're right on about the searchable inventory; you're running a charity, not a library.
    Lastly, I wrote BookMooch to recommend you. You'd think you'd have an answer by now, but maybe they're overrun.
    Rest and recharge. :-)

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.