A Librarithon to raise money for Book Aid International

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World Book Day is designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading. It’s now marked in over 100 countries around the globe, mostly on April 23, but in order to avoid school holidays, this year’s World Book Day in the UK is taking place in just over a fortnight’s time, on March 3.

To mark this day I’m hoping to raise some money for a great charity, Book Aid International and I need your help! I’ve set myself (and the girls) a challenge which I’m hoping you’ll sponsor us to complete.

So what’s the challenge?

My girls and I will be attempting to visit as many different libraries as possible over Half Term (a school holiday here in the UK, 19-27 February), all by public transport. In doing so we’ll be supporting many libraries threatened with closure and reading lots of new stories together. Our target is 14 different libraries in 3 different counties in England.

You’ll be able to follow us on Twitter @playbythebook. We’ll be taking photos, checking out the comfy seating, making noise and having lots of fun!

Anyone, anywhere in the world can sponsor me for any amount from £1 (approximately 1.2 Euros, 1.6 Canadian/Australian/US dollars, 73 Indian Rupees) using Paypal or your credit/debit card, via my site at JustGiving.com.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Book Aid International (and if you’re a UK taxpayer they’ll make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation). It’s a really efficient and safe way to donate. Since JustGiving was set up, over 12 million people have used it to raise a staggering £700 million for charity.

So if you donate, where will your money go?

Book Aid International increases access to books and supports literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa. They provided 507,787 new books to over 2,000 libraries last year alone and have sent more than 30 million books to partner libraries since 1954. Like me, probably like you, Book Aid International is a great believer in the fact that Books Change Lives – just take a look at this video:

So, what are you waiting for? Please, let’s work together to raise money for a fantastic charity – you can help right now simply by clicking here and donating the price of a cup of coffee!

24 Responses

  1. Susan Stephenson, the Book Chook

    Great idea, Zoe. I love the thought of you and the girls going speed-librarying.

    At the donation page, you said to let you know a special book to look out for. Can you ask the girls if they will try to find a story about an Australian animal, please?

  2. Zoe

    I don’t know how speedy we’ll be Susan – going by public transport generally means we have to be quite relaxed about timings! But that’s no bad thing. It will help us remember it’s as much about the journey as the destination.

  3. Ali B

    What a great idea! Perhaps you could find one of Russell Hoban’s picture books, particularly one of the Frances books?

    • Zoe

      Thanks Kate! We’re looking forward to it to. Just wish we could visit some libraries in Edinburgh!

  4. Zoe

    Hi Marjorie, well, definitely West Midlands, Staffordshire and then maybe Warwickshire, Dorset or Devon – it depends a bit on what else happens in half term! Would be really lovely if you could sponsor us – and if there’s a book you’d like us to read on our journey…

  5. sophie

    It does not happen here for the moment. libraries depend on councils and very local structures, so it has a strong electoral impact to close them. even village have or try to have one by grouping with the surrounding villages.

    of course, it’s not the same for schools, post-offices, hospitals… so they close… we are not very happy with this situation……

    • Zoe

      Thanks Ruth, no I hadn’t yet contacted the Campaign for Libraries – so thanks very much for pointing me in the right direction!

  6. Caroline Lennox

    Hi Zoe,
    This is a fantastic idea! Unfortunately, as you know, our local library closed despite our campaign, and we’ve had to join another. Luckily we have a car as there isn’t a direct bus route from where we live. For those unable to travel there is a library bus still operating on the old library site – but lots of children lost out on Rhyme Time as the bus doesn’t offer this service 🙁
    Crappy cuts!

    • Zoe

      Oh Caroline, I always love reading your comments but this one depresses me 🙁 Yes, as with so many of the cuts at the moment it’s those least able that lose out the most – those who rely on public transport, or who rely on other people such as children and the elderly. Since our local library closed (apparently only temporarily…) M has only been to the library twice as it would cost me £5 to take her and me on the bus (whilst J and I can go by bike). She’s lucky as we have so many books at home, but I know lots of people who aren’t so fortunate.

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