Archive for the ‘Book & Library Resources’ Category

Julie Morgenstern Speaks At National Book Festival & Joins Me For Dinner

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008
Julie Morgenstern

Julie Morgenstern

Famed author Julie Morgenstern was recently in Washington, DC to speak at the National Book Festival.  The National Book Festival is organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush.  Morgenstern was one of over 70 authors, poets, and illustrators presenting at the National Mall on Saturday, September 27, 2008.

Julie was speaking about her latest book, When Organizing Isn’t Enough – SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life.  She spoke at the Festival and signed books for the swarms of fans she has garnered since her NY Times Best Selling Book Organizing From the Inside Out made Julie Morgenstern a household name.  To read Julie’s complete biography, please visit her website

I meet weekly with two organizers, Judy Parkins of Gently Organized and Lauren Halagarda of The Organization Connection, as a mastermind group to develop ideas, problem solve, hold each other accountable for projects, and to simply chat about organizing.  Judy had the brilliant idea to invite Ms. Morgenstern to dinner with the three of us while she was in Washington, DC.  Much to our surprise, she accepted our invitation.  We agreed to meet Julie and her assistant, Ellen at 5:30 PM so Julie could catch the 7:30 PM Amtrak back to her home in NYC.

Laura Bush's Opening Address

Julie is a delightful person and a wonderful conversationalist. Although she wanted to know more about our businesses, we first inquired about her experience as an author at the Festival.  Julie arrived in DC on Friday night to attend the gala held at the Library of Congress.  The black tie affair was for authors, sponsors, dignitaries, and Washington socialites.

First Lady Laura Bush was the host for the evening, and even on the night of the first presidential debate, President Bush was in attendance.  Julie commented how impressed she was he was there supporting the First Lady.  The Festival, in its eighth year, is Laura’s baby and it was the last major public event she’ll host before Bush leaves office.  So even after a day of discussions on the financial crisis and on the night of the debate, he was there to support her.  Ok–I actually give him props for one thing–being a good husband.  (My words, not Julie’s.)

Presidency For Dummies

Presidency For Dummies

We enjoyed hearing about how Julie began her day on Saturday with breakfast in the White House.  I’ve been in Washington, DC for five years now and I’ve not yet been in the White House.  I want to go on a spy mission and see if the President lives a cluttered lifestyle.  Are Barney’s toys lying around everywhere? Do people have messy desks?  Are there magainzes in the bathrooms? is the Presidency for Dummies book on George’s nightstand?  Anyhow, I digress.  The brunch sounded beautiful and it was an event I’m sure she’ll never forget.  She’ll never forget our dinner, either!

Book Donations For A Cause

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Donate and Make a Local Impact

I love Books for America, a local organization in DC.
They have the inspiring goal of building and improving libraries in area schools, shelters, and hospitals, supporting reading programs, and providing children in the Nation’s Capital with their first take-home books.

The organization’s retail location, called ‘A Bookstore with a Purpose’ and located in Dupont Circle, is a fun place to visit. I stop in to both donate and buy books.

A Bookstore with a Purpose
1417 22nd Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Hours: Mon, Fri & Sat 10-6; Tues -Thurs 10-9; Sunday 11-5
What should I donate?
How do I arrange for a book donation pick-up?

Donate and Make a Future Impact

The number of incarcerated individuals in the U.S. is staggering. Although we have less than 5% of the world’s population, we have more than 25% of the world’s prison population. Most inmates are only allowed to receive books donated through programs such as Books to Prison. Books can be dropped off in DC at Foundry United Methodist Church on Wednesday evenings, or in Brentwood, Maryland at the Quixote Center during normal business hours. They’re located approximately four blocks from the Glut Food Co-op.

Foundry United Methodist Church
1500 16th Street, NW (16th & P ST NW)
Washington, DC 20036

Quixote Center
3502 Varnum St
Brentwood, MD 20722
301-699-0042

Find a local Books to Prison program in your area by visiting their online directory.

Donate and Make an International Impact

Book donations can also have a big impact internationally. According to the Camel Book Drive in Kenya’s blog, children’s storybooks are most popular, general fiction is also in high demand, and there is much interest in nonfiction books covering topics like astronomy, geography, and history. Books by African authors are especially appreciated. Both gently used hard and soft-cover books are welcome, but paperbacks are preferred due to weight considerations. These books often reach their final destinations via camel! The librarians suggest that the donor inscribe a note in the books, as this helps the patrons feel connected to places which they can otherwise only imagine.

Wajir Library
For Camel Library
Librarian in Charge, Mrs. Maryan Osman Warfa
P.O. Box 217
Wajir, Kenya
How do you donate books?
Where do I send the books and what’s the cost?

Check out this amazing story, compliments of the Video Journalist Africa, that shows the Camel Library in action.

For more resources on book donations, check out this list published by the American Library Association.