Velocity of Books Story:
In 2010, Jack and Julian Thompson, 6 and 4 years old wanted to swap books with their friends at school. When they were told by a teacher that some of their peers didn't have any books at home, they started going door to door collecting the books.
Today, they are on track to facilitate the distribution of more than 1,000,000 books a year by the end of 2018.
How do full time students distribute so many books? They facility the distribution whenever possible, without coming into contact with the books themselves. They work with communities to donate to organizations in need of books and to host book distribution events to get communities excited about reading.
Why the "Velocity of Books" name? The concept comes from the Velocity of Money. When money changes hands, it increases in value. So does books. Thus, Velocity of Books.
Where in the world do the books go? The books go everywhere! Books are distributed locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.
Where do the books come from? Books come from many community donors, such as individuals, nursing homes, non-profit partners, remainders after book sales and for profit partners such as Discover Books.
It is our desire to share our collection and distribution channels with as many people and organizations as possible, so that they may be self reliant and not in need of our support to sustain literacy programs in their communities.
Our goal is to promote literacy through the collection and distribution of books. The collection of the books comes from individual donations, churches, other non-profits, book swap stations and book swap events. The books are distributed to numerous non-profit organizations, schools, literacy programs, and individuals.
Book Distribution Channels:
1. We work with communities to identify needs and sources of books within their own communities. This maximizes resources and reduces waste. Helping communities help themselves opposed to simply shipping remainder books out and needed books in helps reduce the carbon footprint.
2). We distribute books to the entire student population at some schools and are working to put book swap stations up at more schools. There are still students without a single book at home and this is an effective way to get books into the hands of students. Future: We are planning on getting book mobiles on the road. Many library systems think that their brick and mortar libraries are reaching the community, but they are truly out of touch with the less literate communities. Many individuals don't have the time or transportation to get to the libraries. Our book mobiles will be giving books away. We will not be a library. There won't be late fees. Many people need books that they can own, as it makes a magical connections. You should see their faces when they get a book and they don't have to pay for it or give it back. There is great awe. Sometimes there is trepidation as though they think there is a catch.
3. Book distribution events. If your community wants to host an event where you give away thousands of books, we will certainly be happy to provide the books. Some of the events we sponsor have have up to 22,000+ books. This is a great way to get communities excited about reading.
4. We work with shopping centers and malls to host events and free standing libraries which are stocked by Velocity of Books until the effort is sustained by the community.
A few of the organizations we help are:
1. Reach Out and Read- A program in which we provide books for medical professionals to give parents, when they are teaching the parents how to teach the kids to read).
2. National Center for Children and Families. They have a library on-site. We also provide book for families who are transitioning back into permanent housing. After they were homeless or nearly homeless, the families have few possessions. We work to give them a variety of books, so that they will truly have books of interest to the reader.
3. Homeless Children's Playtime project. This program helps to ensure that homeless kids have access to books. What a great escape for these kids and essential that they have the exposure to the books, so that they don't lag behind their peers. When they read more, they'll be less likely to perpetuate the chain of poverty. Empowering!
4. Mary's Center. This is a program which provides medical services to pregnant women and young children. I met them when I donated books through Reach Out and Read. Reach Out and Read only takes new/ newer books for infants through age 5. I collect all books and Mary's Center is happy to take all I have. Many children stop reading as they get older. A significant part of the problem is not having constant access to books of interest.
5. Prisons. Essential that prisoners come out better educated. It is hard for many of them to get jobs when they get out of prison. I heard last night that 1/4 of prisoners are repeat offenders. Many commit crimes purposefully to get food and shelter.
6. Some of the examples of individuals who receive books may be children who have limited to no books in their home or home bound adults . Many of the home bound adults find our program through community villages programs.