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May 16, 2002

in this issue...



Listen to NPR this Saturday!

Last Saturday BookCrossing was featured on the Arthur Black talk show on CBC Radio in Canada, and the response from Canadians was quite strong, with nearly 300 new members from our neighbor to the north in the last 5 days. For all you American BookCrossers out there, now's your chance for equal air time: this Saturday, National Public Radio (NPR) is doing a special on BookCrossing on their Weekend Edition with Scott Simon show! I was interviewed a couple of weeks ago by the reporter, Neda Ulaby, and she also interviewed a couple of BookCrossers near NPR's Washington, DC office. I'm expecting it to be about a 45 minute segment, so please tune in and tell your friends to do likewise. Regarding show times, they vary by local affiliate channel. Here in Kansas City, the Weekend Edition show airs from 7 to 9 am. You can find your local affiliates at the NPR website: http://www.npr.org/programs/wesat, or you can use the streaming media links at that page to listen to the show over the internet.

I'll be sure to let you all know next week how big the response was from the show. Judging from the NPR audience, I'm going to make a conservative estimate of 1,000 new members between Saturday and next Wednesday.

I was also interviewed last Friday by a reporter from the Associated Press. Once the story goes out on the AP newswire, you may see it in your local newspapers or radio broadcasts. All that's left now is the holy grail: television. I've already recommended that you send an email to the Today show producers at today@nbc.com... now, I'd like to find out how to get a message to the producers of Live with Regis and Kelly, since Kelly has started a Reading with Ripa book club. I've searched their website, but can find no email addresses or contact forms. If anyone can help, please let me know a contact point.

 

help provide books to African students

I recently received an email from Kathy Johnson, a school librarian from Seattle. She described a compelling book project they're working on between her school, Seattle Academy, and a school in East Africa. Basically, they are trying to help a school in Zambia that has NOTHING. Even the teachers have no textbooks. It is truly hard to imagine. The Munali School, located in Lusaka, Zambia, is large government school with approximately 1600 students and 53 teachers, grades 10-12. School supplies are limited and the conditions of the school are poor. The Munali school library has 200 books.

Seattle Academy, located in Seattle, WA, is a small private school with approximately 500 students and 63 teachers, grades 6-12. School supplies are abundant, conditions are good and all the 9-12th graders have their own laptops. The Seattle Academy library has 12,000 books.

Such are the inequities between first and third world countries. Through their relationship with the Munali School in Zambia, the Seattle Academy Library is seeking donations to provide for the shipping of books and textbooks to this school. Finding books appears to be the easiest part of this project. Paying for the postage to get them to Zambia is quickly becoming the biggest challenge they face.

Background In the summer of 2001, 4 students and 2 instructors from Seattle Academy set off to Zambia to explore the possibility of establishing a relationship between students and teachers of Seattle Academy and those from schools throughout Zambia.

This trip came about as a result of Jane Goodall's visit to their school. Jane Goodall is best known for her long research on the Chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream National Park in Zambia. Her life's work also compelled her to start the Roots and Shoots program, a program designed to create and foster environmental growth and cultural awareness in children around the world. One shoot which sprouted as a result of Seattle Academy's interest in the Roots and Shoots program was their trip to Zambia.

During this initial trip in the summer of 2001, contact with the Munali School in Lusaka proved to be a good match. That summer Seattle Academy provided the school with 6 laptop computers, a computer network and some basic sports equipment. The four Seattle students trained 24 Munali teachers in use of the computers. Even more important were the human connections that were made between the two schools during that month-long visit. The summer ended and as the next school year progressed their fearless faculty leaders, Don Zwiers and Pieter Salverdo, have been exploring the possibilities for involvement between our two schools.

The Books to Munali School project is one expression of their desire to become involved. Their goal is to provide - within three years - three library books for every student at Munali School (3x1600 or 4800 books). Any help you can give them is appreciated. The postage cost to ship books there is their largest unmet need. I have great faith in the character and altruism of our BookCrossing membership, so please take a moment today, right now, to write a small check made out to Books to Munali School, make a memo that you're a BookCrosser, and drop it in the mail to:

Seattle Academy Library
c/o Kathleen Johnson
1201 E Union St.
Seattle, WA 98122
If you'd like to contact Kathy with words of encouragement, or more ideas on how you can creatively help, her email address is kjohnson@seattleacademy.org .

 

how you can help the movement

These tips will always be included at the bottom of our newsletter, since members spreading the word to friends is the best way you can help the BookCrossing Movement flourish. If you have a tip to add to this list, please reply and I'll include it next issue.
  • Use the Tell-A-Friend feature at the website: http://www.bookcrossing.com/tellafriend to quickly tell one, or one hundred, friends about BookCrossing by email.

  • Forward this Newsletter to your friends, along with a personal request that they join.

  • Tell your local coffee shops and used bookstores about BookCrossing. The best way is to print out the Book magazine article (link on our site's Press page) and leave it with them. Have them contact me for details on becoming a featured Crossing Zone, since we'll be listing those on the site in the near future.

  • If you know anyone in the media biz (radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, publishing, etc.), make sure to tell them about BookCrossing and encourage them to feature on it. Stress to them the nobility of our cause, the grass-roots growth efforts, the lack of big-wig corporate sponsors.

  • Speaking of corporate sponsors, the one we've got our eye on is Starbucks. I know many of you may have mixed feelings about that big corporate chain, but they're everywhere. And there would be no quicker way to grow BookCrossing than to have a formal Crossing Zone with display set up in every Starbucks worldwide. If anyone knows anybody towards the top of that corporate food chain, please contact me directly.

  • If you've got a website, make sure to grab one of our eye-catching logos and link code from the My Bookshelf page: http://www.bookcrossing.com/mybookshelf and put it on your site.

  • When you talk to your friends who love books, be sure to talk to them about BookCrossing. There is no influence more powerful than personal word-of-mouth.

  • Finally, the most obvious way to spread the word: release your books into the wild, or share them with friends! Each one is a little mobile billboard for BookCrossing, and will help convince others to share in kind.

Thanks for reading this far, and until next time, Happy 'Crossing!

Ron

Ron Hornbaker
Co-Founder, BookCrossing.com
ron@bookcrossing.com



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