Annual Book Drive

Original artwork courtesy of Alethea Jones
Original artwork courtesy of Alethea Jones

The 20th Annual Children’s Book Drive has begun! This year’s recipient is the Maryland Book Bank, a Baltimore organization that distributes free children’s books to families, teachers, schools, and organizations throughout Maryland. The Maryland Book Bank works with community partners to ensure that low-income children have the books they need to become reading proficient from Pre-K to 12th grade.

How can you help the Maryland Book Bank provide books to children in need?

  • Order a book online from the Amazon wish list (or search for “AALL 2018” on Amazon under “Lists > Find a List or Registry.”) Remember to select the Maryland Book Bank shipping address when you check out.
  • Send checks, payable to American Association of Law Libraries, or online bookstore gift cards to the Annual Book Drive Co-Coordinator:Josh LaPorte
    Boston University School of Law
    Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries
    765 Commonwealth Avenue
    Boston, MA  02215
  • Drop off books for Pre-K to 5th grade children, online bookstore gift cards, checks, or cash in Baltimore at the Member Services booth in the Exhibit Hall. Drop off books only next to the Hospitality Booth. (Please no textbooks, workbooks, coloring books, reference material, or adult or young adult books.) All donations must be dropped off by Monday, July 16 at 5:00pm.

For more information regarding the book drive, please contact Josh LaPorte, For information about the history of the annual book drive, see our article in Spectrum!

Past Annual Book Drives

  • 2014-2015

    2015: A Book in the Hand is Worth Two in the Store! For 2015, SR-SIS partnered with The Philadelphia Children’s Foundation which benefits area schools serving students from Kindergarten to the 8th grade.

    2014: Remember the Books! This year we coordinated with the Transitions Program of the San Antonio Independent School District.  The Transitions Program serves homeless students, students in foster care, and at-risk youth. The drive raised $595 in cash and 378 books!

  • 2009-2013

    2013: It’s Raining Books!  Stacy Etheredge of Western Virginia College of Law Library organized the 2013 book drive, which benefited Pages Ahead, a leading provider of children’s literacy services in Washington State.  The drive raised $320 in cash and over 385 books.

    2012: One if by Land, Two if Buy Book!  This year we had a matching drive that quadrupled our book donations.  We donated over 1200 books and $500 to Read Boston.  These books and funds have gone to community centers, family childcare providers or after school programs that may not otherwise have literacy programs or books to support them.

    2011: Give Me Liberty and Give Me Books!  The book drive benefited Philadelphia Children’s Foundation (PCF). The PCF is a non-profit educational-support organization on connecting students and their families to resources and opportunities in the Philadelphia area. The books from this drive benefit PCF’s Read for Success program. The Read for Success program makes 2-3 large book donations per year to Philadelphia schools serving students from Kindergarten to the 8th Grade. Typically, the recipient schools have small library collection s or no library at all, so these books truly go to students in need.

    2010: Reach Out and Read!  Donations benefited special needs children in the Denver, CO area.  Working with the organization, “Reach Out and Read Colorado”, we were able to place books with children age 6 month to 5 years, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty.  These books were given out at pediatric checkouts by doctors and nurses.

    2009: Uncle Sam Wants Your Books!  Donations benefited the Heather Hill Elementary School in Prince George’s County School District, a Maryland county that borders D.C.  It is the 17th largest school district in the country, with a high population of under-served minorities and immigrants.

  • 2004-2008

    2008: A Book for Every Child Donations benefited the Willamette Writers Inc. Books for Kids program, which collects and distributes over 23,000 new and used books every year to underprivileged children and teenagers served by over 50 agencies and organizations throughout Portland, Oregon state, and SW Washington state. Total cash raised: $2,005.

    2007: ReCovering New Orleans: One Book at a Time  Donations benefited the Recovery District Schools in New Orleans. The RSD has 21 needy schools under its umbrella including elementary, middle and high schools.

    2006: Show Me the Books!  Donations benefited St. Louis’ Central Elementary and Vashon 9th Grade Academy. Under the direction of James Donovan and Ann Pucket, member donations totaled 563 books and $880 were donated before, during and just after the meeting. The Social Responsibilities SIS supplemented the cash donations by adding a $1000 gift from the SIS treasury. The organizers also partnered with a local book shop, Left Bank Books, which sold $1000 in gift cards to be used by the two beneficiary schools for their libraries. Total cash raised: $2,880.

    2005: Fiesta of Books!  A tribute to San Antonio’s Hispanic cultural heritage.  Fiesta of Books!, under the capable direction of Ron Wheeler and Barbara Lah of the University of New Mexico Law Library, raised $2,200 and more than 450 books for five of the neediest elementary schools in San Antonio.

    2004: Make Way!  The theme for the 2004 Book Drive, Make Way!, was based on Boston’s beloved children’s book “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey (The Viking Press, New York, 1941). The 2004 Make Way! Book Drive raised a total of 562 books and $1,721 in monetary donations – nearly triple the previous year’s donations, and an incredible gift to this year’s recipient – Read Boston, a city initiative whose mission is to ensure that all Boston children are able readers by the time they complete third grade.

  • 1999-2003

    2003: Bookless in Seattle  The membership of AALL and the SR-SIS donated over 200 books and $1140 in cash and bookstore gift certificates to the First Place School library during our annual book drive at the 2003 AALL Annual Meeting in Seattle, “Bookless in Seattle.” The librarian was happy to receive several copies of the Harry Potter series as well as dictionaries and young adult fiction. First Place is a private non-profit school and social service agency serving children and families in transition, in crisis, or homeless. Most of the families served live below the poverty line and 80% of the families are fleeing domestic violence. The school serves children in grades kindergarten through 7th grade.

    2002: Connecting with Kids  The book drive for the 2002 Annual Meeting benefited the New Beginnings Educational Complex in Kissimmee, FL, which houses two programs — “Crossroads Center” (middle and high school) and “Cornerstone” (K-12). Both programs educate children and teenagers who have behavioral and academic problems that likely would jeopardize their success in traditional schools. Tim Coggins and Karen Westwood chaired the effort.

    2001: Twice as Responsible  What do Anne of Green Gables and Little Women have in common? They were the two most-donated titles to this year’s service project at the Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. For the third year in a row, the SR-SIS organized the project of collecting and donating books to the libraries of public schools in the host cities. Since AALL was held in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the SIS decided to be “twice as responsible” and collect for both school districts. More than 160 books were collected during the Annual Meeting. Most were new, although some gently used titles also made an appearance. In addition, the SR-SIS voted at its business meeting to donate $500 out of its treasury to each school district. Members donated personal checks worth $120. The media directors for both cities’ public schools thanked AALL members for their generosity.

    2000: Literacy Builds Independence  The SIS once again gave members of AALL a chance to give something back to our host city, Philadelphia, through volunteer efforts for the public school libraries. This year’s program offered members a choice of two different days in which to volunteer time. Debra Gniewek, Director of the Public School Library System, made arrangements with different public school librarians for our volunteer efforts. Also, in an effort to make contributions to the schools, children’s book donations were encouraged. The SIS itself gives $1,000 yearly to the host city’s public school library program.

    1999: A Capital Contribution  We selected the Adams Elementary School library as the primary beneficiary of “A Capital Contribution” in Washington, D.C. Teams of volunteers went out to the school on Wednesday, July 21, an effort coordinated by Karen Westwood. It was a huge success, with efforts from about 25-30 members going into the public schools and donating their time and talents to the school libraries in need. These contributions ranged from reading to children, cataloging, computer troubleshooting, weeding, or clerical help. Carol Billings coordinated the book collection for the D.C. Public schools. At the Social Responsibilities SIS table in the Exhibit Hall Activities Area members collected new books appropriate for kindergarten through sixth grade children. All AALL members were encouraged to purchase one or more books to bring along in their suitcases so the project volunteers could deliver them when they visited the Adams Elementary School.