Drop Everything and Read

D.E.A.R. Friend,

I put D.E.A.R. in all capital letters on purpose to get your attention. This is all about National Drop Everything and Read Day. D.E.A.R. stands for Drop Everything and Read—get it?

I got it ever since I was eight and we started having D.E.A.R. time at my school. D.E.A.R. is a lot of fun and because I know so much about it, librarians, teachers, parents, journalists, some people who make books, and some people who give books [First Book] have asked me—Ramona Geraldine Quimby—to be in charge of telling everyone about National Drop Everything and Read Day on April 12th.

April 12th will be a busy day for me since that is also Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but I always can find time to read. I am going to tell everyone in my family to Drop Everything and Read on April 12th. We can do it right at home or to make the day more special, maybe go to the library or a bookstore.

I hope that you, D.E.A.R. friend, will be reading too. Everybody can do it! All you need is a book, your family and 30 minutes together.

Sincerely,
Ramona Q.

Today is the annual Drop Everything and Read day, in honor of the birthday of Oregon author Beverly Cleary. At the after school program where I work we are attempting to read a cumulative 10 hrs today. That means if we have 20 people and they each read for 30 mins we’ll meet our goal.

I am also going to visit two 1st grade classes to read them stories from another Oregon author Rick Steber’s Tales of the Wild West series. Rick Steber will be speaking tomorrow at the elementary school where I work. It couldn’t be better timing. We’ll celebrate D.E.A.R. and then the next day hear from the author himself. (BTW I am a huge Rick Steber fan, and can’t wait to see him live.)

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to Drop Everything and Read today, esp if you take the time to read with a child. I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do.

BONUS: Print the image below out on card stock for a D.E.A.R. bookmark featuring two of Beverly Cleary’s most loved characters Ramona, and Ralph S. Mouse.

2011 Overview & Book of the Year

I like books. I like lots of different kinds of books. And I think this years reading selection really shows the breath of my tastes. Just take the first five books; a star trek novel, 2 classic YA books, a fantasy/horror book, and a non-fiction philosophy book. This year was also the year of mind-bendingly-weird books like the Skin Mapthe Bone HousePrince of Europe, and the Spirit Flyer books. But I managed to squeak in at my goal of 50 books for the year.

See my 2011 Reviews

Summary of 2011 Ratings:

 Loved It– 10

 Liked It A lot– 5

 Liked It– 15

 It Was Okay– 13

 Kinda Bad– 2

 Bad– 2

 It Stunk– 0

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Total= 50

This year there was no contest for book of the year. Which may seem weird when I tell you it was a tie. I kinda had to pick both books because one is the sequel of the other. And since the first book ends on a kinda of cliff hanger, well you’ll probably want to read both anyway.

The 2011 Books of the Year are… Stephen R Lawhead’s The Skin Map and The Bone House. And I cannot wait for the third book, The Spirit Well, of the Bright Empires series to come out.

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” ― Lemony Snicket

Reading #FlashMob a Success!

60 people came to Albany’s Downtown Carnegie Library between 11am and noon on Feb 20th, Presidents Day, 2012 to celebrate their love of reading and support the historic library. Making the event dubbed a “reading #flashmob” a big success. Besides showing up to read event participants were encouraged to give a dollar to the library. The total collected during the event was $100.48.

Librarian Jason Darling was thrilled, “This will probably be our biggest day this month.” He was also excited by the number of people visiting the historic library for the first time.

One family even drove from Corvallis after learning of the event through Facebook.

The idea for this event came from reading this article in the Democrat Herald:

Albany’s downtown library to remain open on Fridays

By Cathy Ingalls, Albany Democrat-Herald | Posted: Monday, November 28, 2011 7:30 am

Albany’s downtown library will remain open on Fridays for at least the next six months.

A Friday closure was averted when the board of the Albany Public Library Foundation voted unanimously last week to spend $12,500 to maintain current hours until the end of the fiscal year on June 30. READ FULL STORY

Hearing that the library might have to close it’s doors one day a week DURING THE SUMMER, prompted me to action. Being a part of LibraryThing.com I had seen other groups organize reading #flashmobs, and thought that was something that I could do. So I reached out to a writer friend, and we began to plan Albany’s first reading #flashmob.

The idea was to raise awareness more than it was to raise money. But money talks, and it shows the city counsel that the citizens of Albany are willing to back the library. 60 people may not seem like much compared to the total population of Albany, but an avalanche can be started by a pebble. Getting people to come out and visit the library is the first step.

On board for the event were the Community After School Program (CAPS)  Ellen Hanson, president of the board and one of her granddaughters came out, as well as Cass Templeton the executive director. Rod Porsche of the Albany Visitors Association was there with his wife Kate Porsche, the Urban Renewal Manager for the Central Albany Revitalization Area (CARA) and their daughters. Mark Spence board president for the Albany Public Library Foundation was there with his family too. And, of course Oscar Hult was there from the Albany Downtown Association, happy to support any events that highlights the downtown area.

If you’d like to help us keep this historic library open through the summer there are several things you can do:

1. There are still T-Shirts of the I <3 Reading design for sale. Shirts are $10 ea and $4 of that goes to the library. Email me to order one.

2. Give to the Albany Library Foundation.

3. Write an email to the city counsel telling them you’d like to see the library remain open 5 days a week. You can find their email addresses on the City of Albany webpage.

4. Come to the Library Board Meeting Tuesday, March 27 5:00 p.m. Albany Public Library-Main, 2450 14th Avenue SE and voice your concerns.

5. Visit the Downtown Library, esp on Fridays. Every time someone walks through the door a counter automatically records their visit. Those numbers count at the end of the quarter when budget sheets are being balanced, and grants are being applied for, and cuts are weighed against public usage.

Reading #FlashMob in Albany,OR

Feb. 20th from 11-noon at the Downtown Library

302 Ferry St SW Albany, Albany, Oregon

Bring a book, bring a dollar; help save our library.

Albany’s first reading flash mob will be Monday Feb 20th from 11-noon at the Downtown Library. All ages are invited.

Getting involved is easy. Show up at the library between 11 am and noon on Feb 20th. Read for 15 mins to an hour (Bring your own book or check one out.) Drop a dollar in the jar, and you’re done. Of course you can do us a favor by passing this on to a friend.

We’d love to have 200 people or more all reading at the same time, in the same place to show our community support.

See the Facebook event page for the latest info, or watch my blog for more event details. I am super excited to be in charge of this great event. Working with me on this event are the library, the downtown association, the visitors associations, the Community After School Program and even a local writer. And my favorite book site LibraryThing.com has offered to promote it too! What a great group coming together not only for the cause of reading, but to help save a beloved Library from budget cuts.