Summer book drive to officially end on Sept. 11
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By Natalie Gray  September 6, 2013 12:00 am

The news brief on Sonoma County’s Free Bookmobile’s web page reads, “It’s that time of year again.” That means the annual summer book drive sponsored by the United Way of Wine Country is in full swing.

“We are extremely grateful that United Way has been partnering with us,” said Glen Weaver of the book drive in a phone interview. “To help us give the kids of Sonoma County the best possible books they could have.”

According to Weaver, this is the third annual book drive the Free Bookmobile and United Way has partnered together to create. The drive spreads across all of Sonoma County, with drop-off bins located at Exchange Bank and Hansel Auto locations in the county.

The book drive has been going on for nearly a month now, having begun on Aug. 12. According to Weaver, the drive is a wonderful source of new material for the bookmobile, to help replenish book stock given away over the summer and to prepare for the fall.

“We’ve done a lot of outreach to try to prevent summer slide (in reading) for both kids and parents,” said Weaver. “The book-drive gives us the chance to replenish the supply from the summer”

The first year of the book drive was a two-week period and brought in a total of 2,000 books. The next year, the number swelled to 8,000 books. Though he does not yet know how many books this year’s drive has racked in yet, hopes are high to have enough to be able to replenish the bookmobile’s stock and have enough books on hand for the community it serves.

Pick-up efforts this year have been split between the Free Bookmobile and United Way. United Way is a program that moves to meet a goal of igniting care and involvement through the Sonoma County community through charity and educational efforts. The Free Bookmobile shares a similar goal of helping the community by being an easy and reachable source of books, namely in hard-pressed areas where reading material is not so easily accessible because, perhaps, a lack of a city library or for being a rural area.

The book drive will officially end on Sept. 11, at which time United Way is to have a “Day of Caring” event featuring a gala at the County Administration Center. The Free Bookmobile, along with Redwood Empire Food Banks, Goodwill and Bloodsource, will be at the event. According to Weaver, even though Sept. 11 is the official last day of the drive, he and the bookmobile would be more than happy to receive book donations.

After the drive, the next events for the Sonoma Bookmobile are the Fiesta de Independencia at the Wells Fargo Center on Sept. 14 and the Sonoma County Book Festival. The latter has been a partner and sponsor of the bookmobile for some time now and will hold its annual event on Sept. 21 at the Santa Rosa Junior College campus.

The Free Bookmobile is also accepting and donating good-condition books for readers of any age. 

To find out more about the drive, donating books, drop-off locations and the bookmobile’s schedule, go to the bookmobile’s website at www.freebookmobile.org. 

To find out more about United Way’s work, go to www.unitedwaywinecountry.org. 

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