North Texas Tornado Relief: How Our Customers Helped Meet the Needs of Tornado Survivors

UPDATE: May 9, 2016

Small gestures add up to make a big difference

After the December 26, 2015 tornadoes hit North Texas, HPB’s Dallas-Fort Worth customers donated toiletry items, we contributed books to displaced families living in shelters.  In January, donation coin boxes in Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Oklahoma City encouraged customer donations to the Red Cross.  Many customers donated by directly texting to the Red Cross while others dropped their donation into the coin boxes.  After the money was tallied, we presented the coin box donations to the North Texas Region of the American Red Cross.  Our customers contributed a few coins or dollar bills here and there, which ultimately became a donation of $6,413.45!  The Red Cross works to help those impacted by the North Texas tornadoes even now, four months later, and these contributions will go towards that work – it is awesome to see your donations making a difference in the lives of the North Texans who are still recovering and rebuilding their lives.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela

 

Tornado Relief

Representing Half Price Books at the check presentation in March was Dawn, Garland store manager, and Dave, North Dallas district manager.  In the center is Ashley from the Red Cross of North Texas.  The day after the tornadoes, the Garland store was first to reach out to the Garland Police and let them know HPB wanted to help. 

Through the generosity of our dedicated customers and some additional big-hearted citizens who wanted to donate, Half Price Books was able to collect more than 10,000 toiletry items for the survivors of the recent North Texas tornadoes! What too many families in areas just north and south of the city of Dallas experienced was a devastating mass of twelve tornadoes that tore through homes and across neighborhoods, sadly taking lives in the process.

FBWall-NTXTornadoRelief-Amplified

The communities of Garland and Rowlett were hit the hardest, and, subsequently, several Red Cross Shelters were established and companies across North Texas volunteered to collect needed items. The evening after the tornadoes hit, our Garland store management team reached out to the Garland police and let them know we would help, in whatever way we could. On Monday, our Dallas corporate office, in partnership with the American Red Cross of North Texas, announced that DFW area Half Price Books stores would accept donations to the Red Cross. As a tangible way to meet the needs of the tornado survivors, we embarked upon a DFW Toiletry Donation Drive to provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap and other immediate needs.

The Red Cross let us know on Tuesday, December 29, they had several shelters with many children that were bored and asked if we had books we could donate – do we have books? YES! The boxes were packed to the top of the truck with more than 500 books, stacked, loaded and delivered to the Red Cross Headquarters by a Half Price Books team by the next day. Before we left the building, a Red Cross representative said those children’s books were already en route to the shelters! Now that was amazingly efficient!

2

Left to right: Michael (HPB), Ashley (Red Cross), Brady (HPB), Angela (Red Cross)

We continued the Toiletry Donation Drive through that week until Friday, January 1. To say that our customers, employees and the citizens of DFW area were generous is an understatement. Our Flagship store in Dallas collected more than 3,000 of the much-needed items, including some dog food and blankets, too! In addition, our19 other stores in the DFW area collected another 7,000 items! When the call went out, everyone responded with abundance!

4

Donation delivery site with HPB truck driver, Marvin (in orange vest) and church’s volunteers.

The closing chapter of our donation drive was finding an organization to distribute the donations we collected – in the process, we discovered a cool website called recovers.org, where the needs of a recovering community are listed and those who want to donate can be matched with each other. After searching for the Garland area, we found an organization that needed our toiletry items. Our corporate distribution staff quickly sorted and boxed up the 10,000 items into categories like toothbrushes and shampoo; the four shrink-wrapped pallets with 25 boxes each were then delivered to The Central Park Church of God in Garland on Friday, January 10 – on the day the director said they literally were running out of toiletries! It is because of our thoughtful and community minded customers, employees and fellow citizens of DFW that these donations got into the hands of those in need, just in time! If you donated, we wanted you to know – you met a huge need in a mighty way!

3

HPB employees sorted over 10,000 items!

 

Teacher Appreciation Week: Celebrating Educators and Half Pint Library

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and we have some teachers to thank!

As we bid farewell once again to the biggest book drive and book giveaway of the year, the Half Price Books Half Pint Library program, we say a special thanks to the educators and game-changers who came out during April and picked up box after box of children’s books to deliver to their own classrooms and libraries. Selfless acts of literary kindness are just one of the things that make teachers great.

At Half Price Books, we know that educators spend lots of their own money each year to furnish their own classroom supplies. That’s why we created the Half Pint Library Program to help defer some of that cost by providing books for kids in need.

So, teachers, THANK YOU! The 17th Annual Half Price Books Half Pint Library giveaway events ended last week and our math lesson for the day follows. Here is HPL by-the-numbers:

1 month

34 Half Pint Library Book Giveaway events

16 states across the USA

487 schools and non-profits

11 Half Price Books trucks FULL of kids books

53,021 books donated by customers

170,256 books matched by Half Price Books

223,277 total books given away!

Thank you to our customers who donated books in March! Half Price Books was able to match these donations (and then some) with excess kids’ books from our stores. We provided every teacher or non-profit that attended a giveaway at least two boxes of books to support their libraries and programs in local communities across the nation!

The Half Pint Library program (HPL) is part of the year-round Million Book Donation Project. This annual children’s book drive is hosted each spring by Half Price Books to collect and distribute books to those in need. Books donated through the Half Pint Library program provide an escape from the challenges faced by children while helping to boost literacy skills outside of school. In many cases, children receive their first book through the Half Pint Library program. The drive accepts any type of children’s book, including Spanish language books, as long as they are in good condition. The program has collected more than 2 million books for pediatric patients, community centers, schools and other children in need.

 

And don’t forget! You can save 10% off your purchases from Half Price Books year-round with our Educator Discount Card.

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow her on Twitter at @bexican75.

Booksgiving Day: Giving the Gift of Reading with FREE Children’s Book and Storytime!

Kids, it’s time to gather ‘round for your favorite Half Price Books holiday. It’s our second annual celebration of BOOKSGIVING DAY!

Supporting literacy and providing books to families is key to our Half Price Books mission! Join us at your neighborhood Half Price Books location on Booksgiving Day, Saturday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. Every child who attends will receive a free book to take home and add to their library, or start a new one! *Limit one preselected book per child while supplies last.

If you aren’t a kid but want to participate, how about picking up a copy of your favorite kid’s book and sharing it with a special child in your life?

Let’s get a book to every child, in every home! BW, the Half Price Books Bookworm, and I will see you there!

The books donated on Booksgiving Day are part of Half Price Books Million Book Donation Project, which has donated more than 1.3 million books to non-profit organizations and schools in 2014.

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.

You can follow her on Twitter at @bexican75.

21 Comic Book Challenges You Won’t Believe!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Half Price Books is committed to buying and selling anything printed or recorded, except yesterday’s newspaper! Did you know that HPB carries a great selection of comics, graphic novels and comic-related merchandise?

 

This year, we’ve teamed up with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, our super heroes at protecting our right to read comics! Enjoy this post from our friend, Charles Brownstein, Executive Director at the CBLDF and we’ll see you this weekend! — Becky

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization that protects the freedom to read comics, and we’re proud to welcome Half Price Books to our roster of Corporate Members.  Many people ask whether censorship is still a problem facing comics, and the answer is a shocking yes.  In 2013 the year’s tenth most challenged book was Bone by Jeff Smith.  Last year also saw the Chicago Public Schools attempt to ban Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis.  The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund fights these challenges when they happen, getting involved at the first sign of trouble and assisting communities to help keep comics on the shelf.  We also create proactive resources to help increase understanding of comics before challenges occur.

Today we take a look at 21 surprising comics challenges, providing the title, where the challenge occurred, and the allegations brought against the book.  To read the full story of these challenges, or to learn more about the CBLDF’s important work, come on over to our website.

 1. Amazing Spider-Man: Revelations by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita, Jr., and Scott Hanna

• Location of key challenge: A middle-school library in Millard, Nebraska

• Reason challenged: Sexual overtones

The parent of a 6-year-old who checked out the book filed a complaint and took the story to the media; the parent also withheld the book for the duration of the review process rather than returning it per library policy. Read more here.

2. Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

• Location of key challenge: Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio

• Reason challenged: Sexism, offensive language, and unsuited to age group

Despite the challenge, the library retained the book and now holds two copies, which are shelved in the Teen section. Read more here.

3. Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Boland

• Location of key challenge: Columbus, Nebraska, Public Library

• Reason challenged: Advocates rape and violence

The library review board members present voted unanimously to retain the book when it was challenged by a single patron.  Read more here.

4. Blankets by Craig Thompson

• Location of key challenge: The public library in Marshall, Missouri

• Reason challenged: Obscene images

CBLDF wrote a letter to the Marshall library on behalf of Blankets and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, playing a key role in keeping both books on shelves. Read more here.

5. Bone by Jeff Smith

• Location of key challenge: Independent School District 196 in Rosemount, Minnesota

• Reason challenged: Promotion of smoking and drinking

A letter from Jeff Smith decrying the attempted ban of his book was read aloud at the library review committee’s hearing, and the challenge was ultimately rejected by a 10-1 vote, to the praise of Smith and the CBLDF. Read more here.

6. Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

• Location of key challenge: All public school libraries in Wicomico County, Maryland

• Reason challenged: Violence and nudity

The library review committee recommended that the books in the Dragon Ball series, which were recommended by the publisher for ages 13+, be removed from the entire public school library system, including at the high school level. Read more here.

7. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

• Location of key challenge: The public library in Marshall, Missouri

• Reason challenged: Obscene images

CBLDF wrote a letter to the Marshall library on behalf of Fun Home and Craig Thompson’s Blankets, playing a key role in keeping both books on shelves. Read more here.

8. Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

• Location of key challenge: A high school in Guilford, Connecticut

• Reason challenged: Profanity, coarse language, and brief non-sexual nudity

A high school teacher was forced to resign from his job after a parent filed both a complaint with the school and a police complaint against the teacher for lending a high school freshman a copy of Eightball #22, which was later published as the graphic novel Ice Haven. Read more here.

9. In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

• Location of key challenge: Multiple locations

• Reason challenged: Nudity

In the Night Kitchen was not often removed from shelves; instead, librarians censored it by painting underwear or diapers over the genitals of the main character, a precocious child named Mickey. Read more here.

10. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill

• Location of key challenge: Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky

• Reason challenged: Sex scenes

Two employees of the Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky were fired after they took it upon themselves to withhold the library’s copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier from circulation because they felt it was pornographic. Read more here.

11. Maus by Art Spiegelman

• Location of key challenge: Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, California

• Reason challenged: Anti-ethnic and unsuited for age group

Nick Smith of the Pasadena Public Library describes the challenge as being “made by a Polish-American who is very proud of his heritage, and who had made other suggestions about adding books on Polish history… The thing is, Maus made him uncomfortable, so he didn’t want other people to read it. That is censorship, as opposed to parental guidance.” Read more here.

12. Neonomicon by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows

• Location of key challenge: The public library in Greenville, South Carolina

• Reason challenged: Sexual content

Despite giving her 14-year-old daughter permission to check out the book, which was appropriately shelved in the adult section of the library, a mother filed a complaint, claiming the book was “pornographic.” CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book, but it remains out of circulation pending review. Read more here.

13. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

• Location of key challenge: The public school system in Chicago, Illinois

• Reason challenged: Profanity, violent content

Furor erupted when Chicago Public Schools sent an email to local principals, directing them to remove all copies of Marjane Satrapi’s award-winning graphic novel Persepolis. CPS backpedalled on the initial email, sending a second email clarifying that the book was to be retained in libraries. It was removed from Grade 7 classrooms and remains under review for use in Grade 8 -10 classrooms. Read more here.

14. Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughn and Niko Henricho

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Sexual content

Despite receiving high praise from the ALA and Booklist and featuring a cast consisting of animals, the book has been challenged at libraries for sexual content. Read more here.

15. Sandman by Neil Gaiman and various artists

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Anti-family themes, offensive language, and unsuited for age group

When asked about how he felt when Sandman was labelled unsuitable for teens, Gaiman responded, “I suspect that having a reputation as adult material that’s unsuitable for teens will probably do more to get teens to read Sandman than having the books ready and waiting on the YA shelves would ever do.” Read more here.

16. Side Scrollers by Matthew Loux

• Location of key challenge: The public school district in Enfield, Connecticut

• Reason challenged: Profanity and sexual references

The school district removed the book from non-compulsory summer reading lists, possibly violating its own review policy, which states in part that “no parent nor group of parents has the right to negate the use of educational resources for students other than his/her own child.” CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book and is still awaiting a response from the school board. Read more here.

17. Stuck in the Middle, edited by Ariel Schrag

• Location of key challenge: The public school system in Dixfield, Maine

• Reason challenged: Language, sexual content, and drug references

CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book, and the school board voted to leave the book on library shelves with the caveat the students must have parental permission to check out the book. “While we’re pleased to see the book retained in the library’s collection, we’re very disappointed that it is retained with restrictions,” said Executive Director Charles Brownstein. Read more here.

18. Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse

• Location of key challenge: Montgomery County Memorial Library System, Texas

• Reason challenged: Depiction of homosexuality

The book was challenged alongside 15 other young adult books with gay positive themes. The book was ultimately retained in the Montgomery County system, but was reclassified from Young Adult to Adult. Read more here.

19. Tank Girl by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett

• Location of key challenge: Hammond Public Library in Hammond, Indiana

• Reason challenged: Nudity and violence

The Tank Girl books are meant to entertain an adult audience, frequently depicting violence, flatulence, vomiting, sex, and drug use. After the 2009 challenge, the Hammond Public Library chose to retain the book, and it remains on shelves today. Read more here.

20. The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Nudity, sexual content, and unsuited to age group

When the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom released their list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011, the second-most challenged book on that list was The Color of Earth, the first book of a critically-acclaimed Korean manwha, or comic book, series. Read more here.

21. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

• Location of key challenge: Various

• Reason challenged: Unsuited to age group

Watchmen received a Hugo Award in 1988 and was instrumental in garnering more respect and shelf space for comics and graphic novels in libraries and mainstream bookstores. The inclusion of Watchmen in school library collections has been challenged by parents at least twice, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Read more here.

Charles Brownstein is the Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Enter to Win a $100 Gift Card for your School Library!

 

Attention, parents and educators! HPB wants to help your children’s school libraries! Now through Sunday, February 16, 2014, register at www.hpb.com/schools and tell us how your school would use a $100 HPB gift card to enhance your school library. We’ll randomly select one winner from each of our 36 markets on March 4, 2014.

And stay tuned, because all registered schools will be invited to a Half Pint Library giveaway in their area later this spring. Last year, with the help of our generous customers’ donations, HPB gave away nearly 300,000 children’s books nationwide to local schools and nonprofit organizations during our 15th annual Half Pint Library Book Drive. Here are just a few ways the donated books helped build Half Pint Libraries across the country in 2013:

  • Used to start a Young Adult reading nook in Houston, Texas
  • Supporting a Read Around the World program in Seattle, Washington
  • Summer reading rewards in Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Resources for youth art therapy groups in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Operation Santa gifts in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Therapy for special needs children in Chicago, Illinois
  • Literacy instruction in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • ESL programs in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Book exchanges in Columbus, Ohio

In 2014, we’re excited to partner with our customers to get even more books into the hands of children who need them the most. This year’s Half Pint Library Book Drive runs February 16-March 31, 2014. During that time, drop off your new or gently used children’s book at any Half Price Books location.

After the drive is complete, Half Price Books will match each book donated as part of our Million Book Donation Project and will distribute the books at special giveaway events in each of our markets in the spring. Stay tuned to hpb.com/halfpint for a giveaway event near you!

P.S. Educators, don’t forget to sign-up for our Educator Discount Card at hpb.com/edu for 10% off your purchases year-round! — Kate

65 Banned or Challenged Books that Shaped America

Writer and philosopher Voltaire once said, “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.” Sounds simple but at what point does someone else’s thinking or ideas become subversive? Where does one draw the line? Who gets to decide?

For the past 40 plus years, Half Price Books has strived to uphold co-founder Ken Gjemre’s direction; “We don’t let others, or ourselves, determine what our customers should read.” So every year we celebrate Banned Books Awareness Week to celebrate our First Amendment rights which enable us to write, speak, publish and read freely. We acknowledge authors and their work which have caused controversy. And you might be surprised about which books are stirring things up.

The number one challenged book in 2013 reported by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom is (brace yourself)… Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey.

Yep. Captain Underpants. Sounds silly, but over the years there have been many challenged books that have had a profound influence on American culture. Some of these banned or challenged books have shaped America. Below is the Half Price Books list of 65 Best Banned or Challenged Books Across the Decades, many of which you can find on our shelves.

(1) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (2) The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X & Alex Haley (3) Beloved by Toni Morrison (4) Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown (5) The Call of the Wild by Jack London (6) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (7) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (8) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (9) For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (10) Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (11) The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (12) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (13) Howl by Allen Ginsberg (14) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (15) Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (16) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (17) Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (18) Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (19) Native Son by Richard Wright (20) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (21) The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane (22) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

(23) Sexual Behavior in the Human Male by Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey (24) Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (25) A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (26) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (27) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (28) Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (29) Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (30) The Words of Cesar Chavez by Cesar Chavez (31) 1984 by George Orwell (32) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (33) The Color Purple by Alice Walker (34) Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (35) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (36) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (37) And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (38) Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden (39) The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (40) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (41) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (42) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (43) Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

(44) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (45) The Giver by Lois Lowry (46) The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (47) The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (48) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (49) Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (50) Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (51) SlaughterHouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (52) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (53) Lord of the Flies by William Golding (54) The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (55) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (56) Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson (57) My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier (58) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (59) Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (60) Ulysses by James Joyce (61) As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (62) The Awakening by Kate Chopin (63) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (64) Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (65) The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (66) Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

 

What book do you think shaped American life and culture? Or perhaps just your own?

Join Half Price Books as we celebrate our First Amendment rights during Banned Books Awareness Week, September 28 – October 5.

Susan is Production Assistant at Half Price Books Corporate.

Enter to Win a $100 Gift Card for your School Library!

Attention, parents and educators! HPB wants to help your children’s school libraries! Now through Sunday, February 17, 2013, register at http://www.hpb.com/schools and tell us how your school would use a $100 HPB gift card to enhance your school library. We’ll randomly select one winner from each of our 22 markets on March 4, 2013.

And stay tuned, because all registered schools will be invited to a Half Pint Library giveaway in their area later this spring. Last year, with the help of our generous customers’ donations, HPB gave away more than 340,000 children’s books nationwide to local schools and nonprofit organizations during our 14th annual Half Pint Library Book Drive. Here are just a few ways the donated books helped build Half Pint Libraries across the country in 2012:

–          Summer reading program incentives in Marion, Iowa

–          Reading materials for children’s health clinics in Indianapolis, Indiana

–          Donations for low-income families through food pantry & literacy programs in Naperville, Illinois

–          Books for a children’s reading area for a learning center in Kansas City, Kansas

–          Literacy program rewards in Lexington, Kentucky

–          After school tutoring resources in St. Paul, Minnesota

–          Prizes for a “Book Walk” at a festival in College Station, Texas

–          English Language instruction for Ecuadorian children through Camarones Community Coalition out of Madison, Wisconsin

In 2013, we’re excited to partner with our customers to get even more books into the hands of children who need them the most. This year’s Half Pint Library Book Drive runs February 17-March 31, 2013. During that time, drop off your new or gently used children’s book at any Half Price Books location.

After the drive is complete, Half Price Books will match each book donated as part of our Million Book Donation Project and will distribute the books at special giveaway events in each of our markets in the spring. Stay tuned to hpb.com/hpl for a giveaway event near you!

P.S. Educators, don’t forget to sign-up for our Educator Discount Card at www.hpb.com/educators for 10% off your purchases year-round! — Kate

Kate is Promotions & Direct Mail Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.

 

14th Annual Half Pint Library program donates 340,000 books!

Thanks to all of the Half Price Books customers who donated to the 14th Annual Half Pint Library program! Our great customers donated just over 90,000 books to kids in need. HPB matched these donations (and then some) as part of our Million Book Project and entrusted our Bibliomaniacs to give away more than 340,000 children’s books in April to hundreds of teachers, non-profits and community organizations at more than 30 local events around the country!

Take a look at some of the crew in action!  

    

 

Thanks again for making this year’s Half Pint Library program the best year yet; we couldn’t have done it without you!

— Becky (and BW)

40 Years of Being Green

As you’ve heard many times on this blog, Half Price Books is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, making for four decades of reading and recycling. We’ve striven since the beginning to keep books out of landfills, making preserving and recycling resources a part of our daily business. 

Last week, we celebrated Earth Day and Arbor Day with our own 40th anniversary tree planting week.  Half Price Books stores around the country planted trees in their communities to help celebrate.  We even had a special day here in our Dallas market where we planted 40 trees at Cottonwood Park in Richardson, Texas.  Volunteers dedicated each of the trees to someone who had inspired a love of reading in their lives. 

Check out some photos and a video of the trees we planted around the country!

 

HPB employees pose with Richardson city officials before the tree planting begins.

Employees and volunteers listen to speakers before Richardson tree planting.

Kara and Emily dig a hole for their tree. Students at Wedgewood Elementary helped HPB employees plant trees at their school in Fort Worth.Kiddos from Smith Elementary help BW plant a tree at their school.      

  Students pose with the manager Michael and the tree they planted at Mendez Elementary in San Marcos. 
Employees from the Castleton store in Indianapolis worked with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

Employees from Huebner Road and Stone Ridge in San Antonio joined forces to plant trees at Huebner Elementary

Emily poses with a tree she dedicated to her sister, a fellow HPB employee!

District Manager Diana and Chairman of the Board Ellen pose in front of their tree in San Antonio

BW and Roundrock employees plant trees for the city’s Arbor Day celebration.

Avery, Jill and Rachel pose with William Shakespeare at UCO’s garden in Edmond, OK.

Angie poses with a tree she dedicated to her grandmother.We planted this tree in honor of our co-founder Ken Gjemre. And here’s one we did for co-founder Pat Anderson, mother of president and CEO Sharon Anderson Wright.

We hope that some of our green activities inspire you to be a little greener in your daily lives.  If you need some inspiration, check out our sister website, www.becomegreen.info for some fun green tips!

— Emily  

Half Pint Library Giveaway Events!

Last week, we kicked off our 2012 Half Pint Library giveaway events that are going on across the country throughout the month of April. After collecting more than 341,000 children’s books with the help of our wonderful customers during our six-week drive (a new record!), we scheduled 34 events to give them all away to local schools and nonprofit organizations.

The festivities began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week where 15,000 books donated by customers and our Milwaukee area stores were distributed to community organizations and schools in need of children’s literature. Events in Indiana, Iowa and South Texas followed – and that’s just the beginning! Check out our complete calendar of events to find a giveaway event near you and to learn more about how you can get involved. 

Half Pint Library giveaway display at our Concord, CA store, expertly done by employee Michelle Kendall-Alwrie.

San Antonio/San Marcos district trainer Paul Adams loading boxes of books into a recipients’ truck.

Milwaukee giveaway event at the Wauwatosa warehouse — over 15,000 books were given away!

Boxes of books stacked and ready to be handed out at our Fort Wayne, Indiana giveaway event!

Half Pint Schools Winners!

Earlier this year, schools across the country registered to be part of the annual Half Pint Library Book Drive by hosting their own drives March 19-23, 2012. More than 9,000 books were collected from participating classrooms around the country. The three winning Half Pint Schools will receive an HPB Gift Card for their school library. The 2012 winning schools are:

1st – $200 HPB Gift Card – Big Bend Elementary – Big Bend, WI – 1,300 books
2nd – $100 HPB Gift Card – Oakstone Academy Preschool – Columbus, OH – 788 books
3rd – $50 HPB Gift Card – Holy Spirit Catholic School – Appleton, WI – 778 books

A huge thanks to all of the schools and classrooms that participated and helped us to collect more children’s books than ever before for nonprofit organizations and schools in need. All books donated through Half Pint Schools will be given away at local Half Pint Library Giveaway events throughout April.

Check out our complete Calendar of Events for details!

— Kate (and BW)