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St. Anne Institute Book Drive and a Surprise at the End

Not long ago, I was asked to sit on the advisory board of St. Anne Institute here in Albany. St. Anne's is a residential and therapeutic facility for at-risk girls ages 12 to 18 from all over New York State. It has been in operation since 1887.  Being the nosy advisory board member I am, I asked for a tour of the facility... and I wanted to start (where else?) at the library!

I was disappointed to see that not only was the library sparse in its selection, but the collection was dated. When I asked about this, I was told that due to budget cuts and increased competition for dwindling grant monies, there was no money to upgrade the library. The waiting list for the one copy of Twilight was eight girls deep! Thinking about it really upset me. These are the girls who need books the most; literacy can change their lives.

So, I reached out to a bunch of authors I know and many of them were kind enough to send along their own books or books that were taking up space on their shelves. To date, I have collected more than 350 books. Signed, unsigned. Fiction, non-fiction. Hardcover, softcover. Sci-fi, fantasy, romance, vampires, werewolves, fallen angels, boy wizards... As long as the book is in good condition and relevant to a 12 to 18 year-old girl, St. Anne's is taking it.

Here is a story about the project done by our local NBC affiliate (I was totally on TV!):

St. Anne Institute still needs your help!

If you are an editor, an agent, a publishing bigwig, a published author, an aspiring writer, or simply a concerned citizen, please consider donating whatever you can.

There are a few ways you can help:

1) If you have books on-hand and would like to ship them, please contact me via my webpage. I will forward you the mailing address and you can ship boxes by media mail.

2) If you'd rather donate books by phone, I have made arrangements with The Little Book House, an independent bookseller in Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany. You can drop by the store or call in and order a book at (518) 437-0101. They have a wishlist from the teachers, librarians and students and you can select something from the list. They've even agreed to offer a 20% discount for books slated for St. Anne's!

A Contest Too!
And now, here's what you get for reading this far... Tweet or post to Facebook about this effort or blog about it on your own blog (with a link to this blog entry) and be entered to win a hardcover copy of Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto. That's right, HARDCOVER! It's hot off the presses and still has that "new book smell." I'll probably gift out a bunch of signed ARCs as well so get cracking! Donate books and you'll be entered five times! Just post where you've publicized the book drive in the Comments section below.

And don't worry. If you've already donated books, you're already entered!

Contest runs until Monday, May 17th, 2010. Please help!

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