Tuesday, March 10, 2015

James Patterson Gives $1.25 Million To School Libraries

James Patterson, one of today’s best known thriller authors, has promised to donate $1.25 million to school libraries around the country! Basically, this means more books available for more children.

This act of generosity comes only several months after Patterson’s donation of over $1 million as a support for individual bookstores! This time, he has joined forces with Scholastic to provide necessary funds to school libraries. For each Patterson’s donation, Scholastic Reading Club has promised to donate exactly the same amount; and Patterson’s expectations range from $1000 to $10 000 per library!

All schools in the USA are eligible – from pre-K to 12-th grade schools, and anybody can nominate a school library – from teachers, librarians and school employees to those from the local community.

“This is not a difficult approval process,” Patterson said. “Applicants just have to state what they would do with the money in 200-300 words. What could be easier? I try not to be arrogant in the sense that I know what’s good for everybody else: I simply ask the question: ‘How can I help?’”

Patterson has also stated that the smaller donation, the more libraries will have the chance to receive the donation.

This generous ‘action’ comes at the best time possible, since the libraries in the USA are faced with some difficulties: in its annual report the American Library Associationdeclared that “school libraries continue to feel the combined pressures of recession-driven financial tightening and federal neglect.” This situation forces many libraries to either limit their services or to disappear.

All this is happening in spite the, still prevalent, opinion that libraries still have an important role in our youth’s education, even more so than the Internet. Neil Gaiman explained this by saying: “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.”

But, can Patterson’s endeavor make a difference in the long run is still open for discussion and we are yet to see. No matter how it turns out in the end, it is still a gesture worth admiring and very cool.

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