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Santa Monica Public Library Calls for Book-Givers

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

By Lookout Staff

January 3, 2012 -- Santa Monica residents have until January 23 to sign up to be a “book giver” for this year's World Book Night.

Santa Monica Public Library officials are encouraging residents to register to be volunteers to distribute books during World Book Night, this April 23.

“The idea is to get book lovers to share their love of reading with people who might not have easy access to books or may not be avid readers,” said Public Services Librarian Robert Graves.

The event, which is organized around UNESCO's World Book Day, is meant to deliver books to “underserved reading communities,” Graves said.

Volunteers have until January 23 to sign up at www.us.worldbooknight.org. Volunteers then choose their top three books from a list of 30.

Volunteers will be provided with 20 copies of one of the three books they chose. The books come a week before the event and are delivered to a hub, in this case Santa Monica's Main Library.

After they've received their books, volunteers are free to give them out anywhere they want, to schools, to homeless shelters, even to strangers on the street, Graves said.

This year's list of books include Mark Twain's classic A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty One Day and Tina Fey's Bossypants.

The list also includes Spanish-language versions of The House on Mango Street and The Alchemist.

“This is an outreach effort for us and for the book givers, it's a way to get out there and share something they really enjoy,” said Graves.

This will be the second year World Book Night, which started in England, is celebrated in the United States and the first year Santa Monica is participating.

“I tried to get us signed up last year and we were too late,” Graves said. “This year, we kept an eye on it. Anything to promote literacy is great to us.”

Graves said that he's not sure on the details yet, but that there will probably be a small get together on World Book Night at the library for “book givers” to swap stories and maybe even see a movie based on one of the books.

For more information, visit smpl.org or call (310) 458-8600.


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