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Love libraries? Vote in the Pepsi Refresh Project!

As you might know, I have a soft spot for libraries. After hearing about a dip in Illinois public library funding, I attended city council budget meetings in Evanston and helped support fundraising efforts through blogging and getting other writers involved. The Evanston Public Library Friends have seen victories and setbacks. But through thick and thin they’ve persisted, and they’ve got a lot to show for it. Namely, they’ve opened The Mighty Twig – a volunteer-run, storefront library established to help replace Evanston’s shuttered South Branch.

How successful have they been?

In the Mighty Twig’s first six months:

  • 18,017 people visited
  • 509 children checked out 6,062 books
  • Volunteers distributed 15,297 free books across Evanston
  • They’ve built up a long wait-list of volunteers ages 10 to 89

They want to do even more – but they need your help.

Vote NOW for The Mighty Twig!Vote for Mighty Twig on Pepsi Refresh!
Help underserved areas get books.

The Mighty Twig’s newest project, “Right Book. Right Place. Right Person needs your vote in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge. Cheryl Chamberlain, Twig Advisory Board member (who’s also on EPLF’s Board of Directors) says,

With our project, we’ll buy books by African-American authors and books in Spanish and distribute them to 10 book centers in public areas throughout west Evanston. These areas have zero library services. We also have another three reading rooms beyond The Mighty Twig, and yesterday we began work on our fourth.

How to Vote

The top 15 candidates will get a grant, but The Mighty Twig’s standing is in the mid-20’s. So please vote once per day until the contest ends on November 30, 2011.
Vote online here: http://www.refresheverything.com/themightytwig

Vote via text:
Send the code 109325 in a text message to PEPSI (73774).

Don’t forget:

You can vote every day both online and via text.
Thanks for your support!

If I seem like a shy writer, it’s because I’m in the midst of moving this week from Chicago to sunny Los Angeles. My work with Critical Mass leads me there, and I couldn’t be more grateful. LA holds a lot of opportunity for folks in the field of digital content. My head spins and my heart swells. But mostly the spinning.

I’ll post an update very soon after the move. Feel free to ask questions in the comments! I’ll be happy to answer.

About an eon ago, my friend, young-adult author James Kennedy, “took over” my blog – I hosted a giveaway when his book The Order of Odd-Fish came out in paperback. Oh what fun that was, since James was also gearing up for his “Dome of Doom” fan art show and battle-dance party in Chicago – in which yours truly competed and valiantly… uh, lost… in the first round. But anyway.

James is up to some serious fun again. This time, he’s asking folks to retell Newbery-winning stories…  In video, in 90 SECONDS.

[Cough] Oh my. The prospect starts my little heart racing, it does. The contest has gotten lots of kids, classrooms, and families inspired, too. James and co-curator Betsy Bird (she of School Library Journal’s Fuse8!) have collected dozens of entries from miles around. With submissions from Canada and New Zealand, this thing has gone international AND intercontinental.

(Where it all began: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, starring James’s niece Freya. She’ll also star in the book trailer for my young adult novel Thirty Decibels.)

Check out this entry, told entirely in shadow-puppets!

Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

OH! Here’s one that had me laughing. I mean, c’mon, it’s a musical!:

The 21 Balloons by William Péne du Bois

Mark your calendars for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival:

New York:  Saturday, November 5, 2011, 3-5 pm
The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the New York Public Library main branch (Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New York, NY. 917.275.6975.)
Co-hosted by James Kennedy and Jon Scieszka, with appearances by Rebecca Stead and Ayun Halliday!

Chicago: Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 6-8 pm
The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the Harold Washington Public Library in Chicago (400 South State Street)

Even better: you can be a part of it. That’s right, James is taking entries until October 17th!

Here’s James’s take on the whole thing:

Teachers, here’s a fun project that will get your students reading Newbery winners.
Students, here’s an excuse to mess around with video equipment.
Librarians, here’s an activity to do with your teen advisory boards.
Anyone can enter. Everyone wins!

I love it! For full rules, head over to the official contest announcement. And get crackin’ on your entry!

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