Washington, D.C. public school libraries are getting much-needed books about science thanks to a book drive led by Subaru of America, Inc. and AAAS. An outgrowth of the AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film Prizes for Excellence in Science Books, the book drive will donate as many as 1,250 books to local schools.
The car company has sponsored the SB&F Prizes, which honor the best science books for children and young adults, for the past nine years. This year Subaru and AAAS wanted to give something back to Washington, D.C., the site of the February 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting. The head of D.C. public school libraries says good, up-to-date science books are in short supply in school libraries.
Subaru will donate one book for each person who filled out a form at its booth at the meeting. Forms are also available at Washington, D.C.-area Subaru dealers that let people add a personalized bookplate to one of the donated books during the promotional period. The books will be delivered to the schools in the “Subaru Loves Science!”-themed Subaru Forrester, which was unveiled at the Annual Meeting by Shirley Malcom, head of AAAS Education and Human Resources.
D.C. public school libraries badly need new, high-quality books, said Pat Brown, manager of library media services for the school system. “Our most recent [high school] collection is 10 years old,” she said, adding that many collections are even older. “You don’t want science materials older than 10 years.”
Brown worked with AAAS and Subaru to develop a list of schools that would most benefit from the books. Schools on the list include the McKinley Technology High School, the Woodson STEM High School, and Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School.
“I don’t have a budget that can support collection development at the district level,” said Brown. “If a principal doesn’t carve funds out of their budget for the library, they get nothing unless there’s a donation.” Especially at science, technology, engineering, and mathematics high schools, she noted, “having solid science volumes will be very important.”
Rachelle Damminger, a spokesperson for Subaru, said the book drive fits with Subaru’s commitment to community development and with its need for science innovation.
“We see over and over again in our business that it’s imperative to invest in the future of science,” she said. “We hope these books will inspire children and contribute to their scientific curiosity.” Damminger added that Subaru hopes to continue bringing science books to schools across the country and said the program will be repeated in Vancouver, British Columbia, the site of the 2012 AAAS Annual Meeting.
“We want to thank Subaru so much for this partnership,” Malcom said. “They understand how critical it is that young people begin to understand the role of science and tech in our lives and that they become ready to take on the role of the scientists and engineers of the future who can advance knowledge in ways that support our well-being, our quality of life, and the health of our planet.”
Visitors to Subaru dealerships can fill out nameplate forms through the end of spring, when the books will be delivered to the selected schools.
Learn more about Science Books & Film (SB&F) at AAAS.