Taylor Swift donates 6,000 books to a Pennsylvania library

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These are some new photos of Taylor Swift launching her new perfume at Macy’s NYC. The perfume is called “Wonderstruck” and I’m sure it smells like a mixture of coffee after apple-picking, the sweat of glitter-ponies and the damp skin after a good cuddlefesting session. No, I won’t make fun! That was too harsh, especially because Swifty just did something really awesome – she donated 6000 books to the Reading, Pennsylvania public libraries. I mean… come on, that’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. That’s not just writing a check or showing up at some dinner (although both of those things are great) – Swifty actually did her research and gave a thoughtful donation through Scholastic Books:

Eleven-year-old Emily Rankin has looked up to Taylor Swift as long as she can remember, back to the days when the country music superstar was performing at local fairs. But now Rankin thinks even more of the Wyomissing native, thanks to her big donation to the Reading Public Library.

Swift donated 6,000 books to the library, which has divided them equally among its main, northeast, northwest and southeast branches.

The books are worth $68,000, and will be available for patrons to borrow beginning Saturday. In six months, the books will be available for inter-library loans throughout Berks County.

Rankin of Shillington was in the children’s department of the main branch in downtown Reading when the books there were unveiled Thursday, picking out a few novels she plans to read.

“I think it’s amazing she did this for her community,” Rankin said of Swift.

Library officials agree.

They learned of the donation in March during a call from Scholastic Books. They picked the books they wanted from the publisher: five copies each of 500 titles. Two copies of each title will be placed on the shelves, two others will be given as prizes and incentives for young patrons and the fifth will be kept in reserve.

The books include fiction and nonfiction for children and teens, and picture books for younger patrons, among others.

Not only will they give youngsters more books to choose from, but with Swift’s popularity, they will motivate more children and teens to read, said Bronwen Gamble, library assistant director.

The library placed a white star on the spine of the donated books to recognize Swift’s star status, and also placed a sticker inside recognizing that she purchased them.

“She adds the coolness factor to reading,” Gamble said.

Library Director Frank Kasprowicz said the donation is the largest made to the library in recent years.

Swift is on tour and did not attend the unveiling.

Her representatives told Reading library officials that she decided to help three U.S. libraries that were struggling to remain open, and picked Reading as one of them.

Kasprowicz hopes the gift motivates the community to increase its donations to the library, which has suffered from state and city funding cuts in recent years, and in 2009 almost had to close all but its main branch.

“We need this same kind of support and generosity from people and organizations closer to home,” he said. “We hope that our patrons and other members of Reading and Berks County will follow her lead and take up our cause.”

[From The Reading Eagle]

I really can’t even describe how awesome I think this is, and the librarian is right, it does encourage kids to read. I’ve always been a reader – my parents were both huge readers growing up, and so I learned it from watching them. Not all kids have parents who read for pleasure, though, and I worry about the younger generations with their text-speak and their lack of concentration. It’s nice that Taylor is out there, representing and promoting books and libraries and reading. So… I’m giving her a pass for a month. Swifty, if you want to start boning John Mayer again, here’s your chance! I won’t yell at you. Have at it.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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39 Responses to “Taylor Swift donates 6,000 books to a Pennsylvania library”

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  1. sapphire says:

    Excellent gift and I won’t fault her generosity. Now, has she read any of them?

  2. matt says:

    That’s great and all, for her and them , but…( http://www.cracked.com/article_19453_6-reasons-were-in-another-book-burning-period-in-history.html )

    So she might have been better donating the cash EQUIVALENT, of 6000 books.

  3. grabbyhands says:

    What an amazing gift, especially since so many libraries are dealing with budget cuts!

  4. gee says:

    I don’t like her, but this is really great.

  5. islandgirl says:

    Awesome gift. WTG Taylor

  6. Liane says:

    Matt – basically, she did this the right way. She wanted to donate books, but it was the librarians that selected the titles, and they would have done so by following their library collection policy. The article you linked to is relevant, but its point is not to stop purchasing books overall.

  7. madpoe says:

    This is awesome and nice gift. IDK I’ve always find myself fond of her and her music which never was my thing. But on a side note I saw her in this dress on the news this a.m. pushing her perfume. I can’t for the life of me understand why celebrities do this?!? Maybe I’m not a perfume candy girl, but c’mon! and just last night I saw a Mark Anthony clothes commerical, really? what man wants to dress like this manorexic? Not Butler! Not Fassy!

  8. Justalark says:

    Wow, I am impressed! At last a celebrity sets a wonderful example for young fans! Taylor’s donation is both generous and thoughtful, and it shows that she is more than just another pretty face!

  9. Flan says:

    Great!

    That’s a really thoughtful way of doing something back. Wish more celebrities did things like this. She, and those like her, stop the rot.

  10. Atticus says:

    I had no idea Wyomissing spawned both Taylor Swift and the Gosselin family.

    That is awesome of her. She’s truly a wonderful role model for young kids.

  11. Sue says:

    @Chris – negative much?, @Evie – who cares? a library got 6,000 books….. Way to go Taylor!

  12. Seal Team 6 says:

    I know alot of Celbitchiers don’t like Taylor, but I do. I think she’s a good songwriter and seems like a nice kid.

    This is an EXCELLENT donation, and she did it the right way. Public libraries are being destroyed by budgets and bureaucrats, and reading is so important for kids/

    Good for Swifty.

  13. Quest says:

    Although most of the time Swifty annoys the hell out of me and gives me “ear-wormesque songs” I applaud her for her generousity and good nature…lovely

  14. Joe says:

    She is a reader herself,Chris. I remember her saying she just finished the book about the Kennedy family (which was like 800 pages). Joke fail,my friend.

    Anyway, really cool of her to do that. :) Approved.

  15. Emma says:

    Yay. Love her. I think it’s incredibly amazing to give such a unique gift that can touch many loves for years to come. Completely selfless. Can’t hate on this one, people..just take it all in :)

  16. badrockandroll says:

    Although i don’t like her music at all, I find Taylor Swift’s anti-poptart image refreshing. So I applaud her actions, and remind people of Dolly Parton’s similar initiative, Imagination Library, wherein children at risk are mailed a book a month until they enter kindergarten. this is a worldwide project and millions of books have been distributed to kids since Dolly started it. You can contact your local Rotary Club, or Google the project if you wish to donate, or wish to register a child who would otherwise enter school with no appreciation of storytime.

  17. Chris says:

    @Sue – it’s called humor. Just ignore it if you don’t like it.

  18. xxodettexx says:

    okay, this one time i wont make fun and will just appreciate that a young person that is doing a very nice thing…

  19. Seal Team 6 says:

    @badrockandroll

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR THAT INFO! I am going to register today, and also post on my Facebook. What a wonderful organization. Dolly knows what it’s like to grow up in poverty.

  20. badrockandroll says:

    Thanks, Seal Team! Dolly’s amazing isn’t she? And a great example for younger artists for charity work, songwriting and branding/business skills.

  21. Rita says:

    For those of you who don’t know, Swifty is perhaps thee most generous person in all of country music. Yes, she made $45 million last year but she is constantly spreading it around purely for the sake of charitable generousity. Good hearted woman!!!!

  22. Stacy says:

    I appreciate the fact that you didn’t hear about this until after she donated. she kept under wraps which makes me doubt it was for publicity

  23. Scarlet Vixen says:

    As much as I tried to think of a crack about Miss Silly McSparkle Ponies, I can’t. I’ve worked for a public library system for over 10yrs, and could give you at least 500 reasons why libraries are still essential. Seeing the joy our littlest patrons have in discovering the magic of books and their own imagination is hands down the best part of my job!!!

    Still not a Swifty fan, but I guess I’m warming up. :-)

  24. april says:

    that is great of her. I live like 20 min from where she grew up. in 2004, I was working at a gas station, and her dad was there, he gave me and my co-worker a 2 song cd, of his daughter. It was of the then unknown, taylor swift. I didnt think much of it til I started hearing about her in 2007, and now she is a household name…

  25. LittleDeadGrrl says:

    This is a very awesome gesture! I’m a huge book nerd and I struggle all the time to get my nephew to read as well. Reading is so fundamental to being well rounded but it is harder and harder to compete with television.

  26. Bodhi says:

    I loathe her, but I’m a librarian so I gotta give her props for doing this. Good job Taylor!

  27. Andie says:

    “So… I’m giving her a pass for a month. Swifty, if you want to start boning John Mayer again, here’s your chance! I won’t yell at you. Have at it.”

    I wonder if you’ll be able to stick to this….I know a couple things about this…and Swift has already been seeing Mayer on the downlow for most of the summer. She just learned her lesson from last time and knows how to keep it quiet right now. But look for it to come to light in the next couple weeks.

  28. LBeees says:

    Big library fan–me and Swift have something in common.

    However, I made the mistake of smelling her perfume. It does, in fact, smell like the sweat from a glittery pony.

  29. Callumna says:

    Any Taylor Swift event that doesn’t involve sound or her being a dumpee should be encouraged.

  30. journey says:

    a pass for the month, heck, i’ll give her a pass for the rest of her life for this. a fabulous thing to do.