Booze for Books: Don’t Miss It

Have you heard? April 12 is YALSA’s first Booze for Books event.

What? What’s Booze for Books?
It’s a fundraising event in support of Books for Teens which focuses on raising money to get books into the hands of needy young adults.

How do you get involved?
The idea is that people around the country, and maybe around the world, will sponsor a Booze for Books fundraising event on April 12. Events can come in all shapes and sizes. You might have a book discussion group that night and ask those who attend to donate an amount of their choice to Books for Teens. Or, you might have a happy hour at your home and raffle off a prize to attendees. You could host something at a local bar or restaurant and raise funds via a cover charge. Or, you could have a progressive party and at each participating location have an auction.

The choice is yours, but YALSA doesn’t want you to have to figure it all out on your own. That’s why there is a brand new fundraising guide that gives you lots of information about how to fundraise for YALSA, what Books for Teens is all about, and ideas for types of events you might host in your community. The guide even includes thank you templates and donation forms. And, there are recipes for book themed cocktails created just for Booze for Books.

And speaking of Booze for Books cocktails, why not create book themed cocktails for your Booze for Books event? We’ve got a Pinterest Board ready for your photos and recipes. Snap a picture of your specially created cocktail and post it on the Board. Or, grab an image of the cover of the book that inspired your recipe and post that along with the recipe. Maybe your book-themed cocktail will be tested and tasted by those in another part of the country.

We’ve also put together a Google Map for people who plan on participating in Booze for Books to let others know about their event. Check out the map and add your pin. Along with your pin feel free to include details about what type of activity you will include at your event and how you plan to raise funds for Books for Teens at your Booze for Books celebration. If you don’t yet know what you are going to do at your event, feel free to pin your location without details and you can add the details later. It will be great to see where all the events are going to take place on April 12.

Over the next several weeks you’ll hear more about Booze for Books here on the YALSAblog, on YALSA’s Books for Teens Facebook page, and on other social media outlets. Talk with your friends and colleagues about the event and get started planning what you are going to do. You don’t want to miss the first ever Bookze for Books.

If you would like to donate to Books for Teens outside of a special event you can do so via the Facebook Books for Teens page or send a donation by check to YALSA, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, attention: Books for Teens.

If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments or send me an email at lbraun@leonline.com.

33 thoughts on “Booze for Books: Don’t Miss It

  1. I’m sorry, but I can’t IMAGINE telling anyone “Yeah, I drank (or I want YOU to drink) to earn money for books for teenagers.” Especially in a town like ours, a college town, where people spend much time and money trying to keep teens from drinking, this would NEVER fly.
    It just seems like a bad idea to me. Especially the title. I would never participate.

  2. I love this idea! My friends, colleagues, and I attend cocktail party fundraisers regularly and it’s a great way to socialize with friends, support a cause we believe in, and get the word out about worthy organizations. Obviously, this is an adult activity in support of an organization that works with and supports teens. In addition, diversifying fundraising activities is a natural extension of our growth as an organizations. I know organizaitons from The March of Dimes to private elementary schools host fundraisers that include alcohol and have no problem with Booze for Books. This isn’t about teens drinking, it’s about *adults* raising funds for YALSA.

  3. Fundraisers are one thing, and I have also participated in wine tastings for fundraising; but do you want to be telling your teens, who you are supposed to be encouraging to have a healthy lifestyle and NOT drink, that you participated in “Booze for Books” to add to their collection?
    Socialize, great. Support community, great! Get the word out, awesome!! Adults contributing funds to encourage Teen reading, nothing better!!! I have no problem with any of that. It is the idea that we would use words like “Booze” to do so. Like I said, I’m in a Division One college town with a not-so-good drinking reputation and this would NEVER fly, not in this context with this slogan.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like a glass of wine or a margarita too, and yes, it is an event for adults, but but this seems… I don’t know, just not right. Maybe it is just the word Booze that really raises the hairs on my neck.
    A colleague and I were just discussing and decided if we want something catchy and rhyming, how about “Burgers for Books”?! :)

    *These are my personal thoughts and feelings. They do not necessarily represent the opinions of my library or those associated with it.

  4. I think this is a neat idea and I’m glad to see the association trying some new things in terms of fundraising and supporting the cause. I think this has a lot of potential in terms of all us adults/YALSA members who like to read and may belong to our own book clubs. I could definitely see hosting a book club event (not a teen book club-I mean my own book club with other adults where we get together to have a glass of wine and chat about a book) on a small scale and ending with being able to provide a donation to Books for Teens.
    Thanks for the link to the printables!

  5. I am a teen author and am not comfortable posting this on my author page (even though I love the cause and regularly encourage others to support.support myself) -of all the possible fundraising themes…this doesn’t seem very well thought out.

  6. My reaction when I read this was one of total disbelief. You have got to be kidding! Associating drinking with raising money for YA books?

  7. I think some are missing the point (which is to raise money, not get drunk or encourage teenagers to use alcohol in any way, shape or form). I think it’s an awesome idea and am planning on hosting an event in Austin, Texas.

  8. Terrific idea! On the webinar last night when this was mentioned, potential alternate names were mentioned (some quite clever) by those not comfortable with the alcohol link that I forget right now… Mocktails and ??

    It’s aimed at grown ups, it’s fun and clever!

    And yes. I’m reminded of a certain School LIbrary Journal cover and reactions. (BSP as I was on that cover).

  9. To answer Liz’s question, the alcohol free version that people can could choose to implement can also get its own name. The suggestion was “Mocktails for a Mission,” but you can get creative with it.

  10. I think it’s brilliant. When it was mentioned in the webinar last night I sent a quick tweet out and it was meet with enthusiastic support from area librarians and authors. It’s catchy, entertaining, and the idea is bigger than the catch phrase. If the title doesn’t work for you, take the concept and make it work for your community – just like we do with programming we “borrow” from colleagues.

  11. I think people are missing the point, which is basically to have an adult event to raise funds for books. I’m sure Books for Teens would be happy to have money from a different type of event. Since apparently we have some sadly un-creative people working with teens may I suggest Pizza for Pages, Soup for Stories (we have soup lunch United Way fundraisers here), Tea for Teens, or Chocolate for a Cause.

  12. My library has benefited from a relationship with alcoholic beverages for quite some time. Currently state law requires that the county ABC Board (that’s Alcoholic Beverages Control) distributes 5% of their sales to the library. They also donate a significant amount of monies to organizations within the community that educate and treat substance abuse. Given this model, it doesn’t seem far off base for YALSA to have such a fundraising event. Cheers, YALSA-I raise my glass to you.

  13. I think this is a fun idea! I don’t drink much (even when I’m not pregnant!) but I would happily go and enjoy a mocktail with some fellow lit geeks. I see nothing wrong with adults enjoying a few drinks. Just because you work with kids or teens doesn’t mean you are not a legal adult. It can be a way to demonstrate the responsible use of alcohol. There is a pretty big difference between a cocktail fundraiser and a kegger!

    Bottom line is that no one is forcing you to throw a Booze for Books party. If you are not comfortable with the idea, don’t have one!

  14. Some may roll eyes that I would post again, but I want to clear up a couple of things.
    I LOVE my teens and I would do MANY things to help them out and make the library and their experiences with books/literature as wonderful as possible! I am not uncreative in working with them or the community I work to get to support them. My Teen Advisory Council and I work very closely with our Friends’ group to raise funds for teen programming and collections. We make sure our supporters and donators are recognized and know how important their support is to the success of our programs.

    I don’t think anyone who questions “Booze for Books” is questioning the efforts to raise money for teen books, or that anyone thinks it is an event for teens (I mean, we are all intelligent adults with common sense).
    I completely respect and admire anyone and everyone working to raise funds for the causes we greatly believe in. I think some of the other ideas people have shared here are great! Kudos to you and your organization on the basis of supporting teen reading if you are willing/able to host this event. I hope you are very successful! I love the idea of Mocktails or something like that – we did mocktails a couple of years ago for our end-of-summer party with teens.

    Ultimately, for ME, it is the title that completely caught me off guard. That a national organization that I respect is using the term “Booze” associated with a fundraiser for teens is troubling to me. That word has negative connotations in my world.

    Best of luck!

  15. The title caught me off guard too, though I confess that my response was to bust out laughing. I think our teens are smarter than we often give them credit for. They know that there’s an adult world, and they recognize the difference between that world and their world. I think YALSA is just presenting us with one more choice in our fundraising arsenal. It will be an appropriate choice for some settings, not an appropriate choice for others.

    This initiative just adds to the many reasons I love being a member of YALSA. Go team!

  16. Personally, I’m hoping I can convince one of my favorite local restaurants–which just so happens to be a tapas and wine bar in the front, book and music store in the back–to participate.

    One piece I think a lot of people are missing is that the core idea is to raise money for Books for Teens, which connects at-risk teens with books. Unless you pair this fundraiser with some kind of fundraiser for your library or Friends group (which some have suggested, and more power to you!), the fundraising event will be entirely separate from your library. If I’m successful in putting together an event, the teens I serve likely won’t know anything about it; I live in a completely different community and commute nearly an hour to work, and I doubt any of my teens pay attention to Boston restaurant news.

    What if the name were Beverages for Books? Or Libations for Libraries? While I don’t usually discuss my drinking habits with teens, I don’t see why I should be afraid or ashamed to tell them that I participated in an event where responsible adults enjoyed themselves and donated money to charity.

  17. Rocco Staino, who writes for SLJ and the Huffington Post, sent me a few questions about Booze for Books. Here are the questions and my answers which I hope will give YALSAblog readers some more information:

    1. How did Booze for Books come to be?
    As work on the YALSA Fundraising Guide (found online at http://bit.ly/zudco9) was in progress, it was one of many member engagement ideas brainstormed for that guide.

    2. Has the YALSA board approve this initiative?
    The YALSA Board’s doesn’t typically approve every specific activity of member groups, like committees. Board members were aware of the Fundraising Guide and the activities suggested in it prior to its launch, through quarterly reports submitted by the committee chair.

    3. What does YALSA say to critics of the alcohol theme?
    The activity is one of many outlined in the new YALSA Fundraising Guide for members. The association is aware that Booze for Books may not be a good fit for all of our members. We encourage those members to try one of the other activities outlined in the Guide.

    4. There are a number of YA books that have alcohol as a theme are there any plans for booklists on abuse?
    As this is a member engagement activity and not an activity geared to teens, which the association’s booklists are, there are no plans for a booklist.

    5. What organizations will be receiving the funds from the event? If it is a library, I assume that the library board will have to approve the fundraiser?
    Funds raised through this activity will go directly to YALSA’s Books for Teens project. All monies given to that project are used to purchase books for teens. More information is at http://www.facebook.com/booksforteens

    6. Do you have any publishers on board?
    The Fundraising Guide was created as a member resource. YALSA did not seek sponsorship or participation from publishers for any of the activities in the guide, as the activities focus on local member engagement.

  18. Given the number of young people who die and are injured in alcohol related accidents I think this is in very poor taste! Maybe it’s because I live in a college town and just finished reading an article about an 18 year old found lying in the street near death from alcohol poisoning she got at a cocktail party at a fraternity.

  19. I think this is great and I will try and do something for the cause. For those of you who are against, why not organize your own Prudes for Prose event?

  20. Wow- there’s a lot of heated debate about this!

    Personally, I think the idea itself is a great one and is easily tweakable to suit your service areas and neighborhoods. I applaud the librarians who know what would fly or not fly in the parts of the world they serve. I also applaud the librarians willing to explore new venues of fundraising and see if they can spread the word about teens and reading to those that may not hear about it in their daily lives. There have been a lot of great alternative name suggestions and ideas here as well (I particularly liked Libations for Libraries. That one rather rolls off the tongue nicely.)

  21. Are you nuts! What message are you sending teens?The 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that among high school students, during the past 30 days

    42% drank some amount of alcohol.
    24% binge drank.
    10% drove after drinking alcohol.
    28% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.

  22. So, to sum up this heated discussion this far- Most of us agree on the following
    -”Booze” as an informal term for alcohol has negative cultural connotations
    - It’s clearly an adult event, and most of us think it’s good for teens to see adults behaving responsibly with alcohol.
    -Many of us are nervous still at the association of “booze” with teens
    -Many of us want something better but that still rhymes – like Cocktails for a Cause or Mocktails on a Mission

    This is a tricky thing to pull off, and for starters can we not post cocktails inspired by children’s books? Like Hop on Pop? Despite the other questions everyone has asked, can we just stick to cocktails inspired by adult books here. For an adult event, we don’t need to be advertising to the world that we’re drinking to themes of Seuss. At home might be different, but someone needs to prudently check on that Pinterest page.

    Thanks

  23. This campaign is in poor taste. There is no way to redeem it other than pulling it and its related Pinterest board with cocktail/drink recipes related to literature. I can’t imagine ever using this in public in any way shape or form.

    Alcohol is the number one abused substance by teens in the U.S.

    Where was common sense when this campaign was dreamed up and why was it allowed to come to fruition?

    Bad form, YALSA.

  24. I find the name of the campaign but not the concept problematic. Last night I saw an ad on tv from the local Rotary Club, and they mentioned several of their different service projects. Two projects they hold an annual wine fundraiser are the high school student exchange programs and the high school’s career center. That didn’t faze me at all. So my gut feeling is that the problem isn’t that alcoholic beverages should never be used as part of a fundraiser that contributes to youth causes.

    Booze for Books makes me think of the guns for toys campaigns, where people exchange deadly weapons for a $100 voucher at a toy store . Alcohol in the hands of teens (and adults too!) can be a deadly weapon, and perhaps the Booze for Books name calls that to mind.

    Also, in some Native American communities, a fundraiser with even the appearance of connecting alcohol and youth in any way could be viewed as highly inappropriate. Either fundraiser would be likely to generate controversy in my community.

  25. Point of clarification: the Rotary Club I mentioned in my post above is not based in my tribal community. The two communities are three hours apart by car.

  26. I agree with those who find this idea distasteful. I’m especially surprised at YALSA for supporting this idea for all the reasons given. We’re all creative, find a better way to raise the money. This irks me as much as the fundraising gambling tournament for the local sports programs in my town.

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