World Book Night is a celebration of literacy by publishers, bookstores, libraries, and individuals who love books and reading, April 23rd being the UNESCO International Day of the Book. This is the third year that Americans will be participating in World Book Night. On World Book Night, which this year in the U.S. is Wednesday, April 23, 2014, approximately 25,000 volunteer book givers will each give away twenty copies of a specially-printed, not-for-resale WBN edition of book they have read and loved (from a list of thirty titles selected by librarians and booksellers) to complete strangers – people who may never have owned a book of their own.
It was first celebrated in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2011. The U.S. and Germany joined in 2012.
UPS is the sponsor of World Book Night U.S. The partners include the American Library Association (A.L.A.), the American Booksellers Association (A.B.A.), and almost every publishing house in the United States.
World Book Night U.S. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and a registered trademark of World Book Night Global. One can donate money to support the program online or make out check, payable to “World Book Night U.S.,” and mail it to 71 5th Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10003.
The ALA explained how libraries and bookshops can support this event as distribution centers for the book givers, "To promote this literacy event, libraries and bookstores – as organizational participants in the event – form a nationwide advocacy and distribution network."
There will be twenty-three World Book Night Kick-Off events around the U.S. on April 22, 2014. In Chicago, local mystery writer Scott Turow will speak at the Chicago Public Library's Sulzer Regional Library, located at 4455 North Lincoln Avenue on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. There is no reference to it, at least that I can find, on the Web site of the Chicago Public Library, but it is referenced several places on the World Book Night Web site and on the Events page of Turrow's own Web site.
The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
Zora and Me by Victoria Bond & T.R. Simon
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
After the Funeral by Agatha Christie
The Ruins of Gorlan: The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1 by John Flanagan
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Large Print edition) by Jamie Ford
The Lighthouse Road by Peter Geye
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Pontoon by Garrison Keillor
Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Miss Darcy Falls in Love by Sharon Lathan
Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee
Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillan
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
The Raven’s Warrior by Vincent Pratchett
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
When I was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
Cuando Era Puertorriqueña by Esmeralda Santiago
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Large Print edition) by Maria Semple
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff
100 Best-Loved Poems edited by Philip Smith
The ALA encouraged individual librarians to apply to become WBN book givers and advised libraries to have designated WBN coordinators "to handle shipment receipt, contact 'book givers' in their area, and receive, read and respond to WBN email updates and questions...Supply a shipping address (accessible by UPS) and be open to receive boxes for area 'book givers'...Be a site where 'book givers' from the community may pick up their box of books the week of April 14, to be given away to light or non-readers in the community on April 23, 2014 to encourage literacy and an appreciation of books...Work ...with local media and organizations, to promote World Book Night and literacy... [and] Give unused books (for instance, boxes of books not picked up by the designated “book giver”) to local nonprofit groups identified by the library (for instance, senior centers, teen centers)."
The ALA noted "One Third of the WBN books are given to at risk students and to students in underfunded schools – but they must apply online and then later in the process, choose a local store or public library as the box shipping point."
There was a cautionary note for librarians at school libraries.
If you are a school library and you have safety concerns with the public having access to your school, it would not be a good idea to be a distribution site since it’s a possibility that 'book givers' from your community will be assigned to your school. However, you are very much encouraged to apply to become a 'book giver'.
The ALA advised distribution centers, "The giver boxes must be given unopened to the giver whose name is on the box."
The week of Monday, March 17, 2014 - yes, St. Patrick's Day - the libraries and bookstores that are pick-up sites will receive the number of book givers they will support. In the case of libraries, the ALA will notify them during the week of Monday, March 24, 2014 of the names of the book givers.
The week of Monday, April 7, 2014, the pick-up sites will receive, check-in, and store the WBN boxes for their book givers. It will be the responsibility of library or bookshop staff members to call or e-mail book givers to let them know their boxes have arrived and invite them to attend open house receptions to pick up the boxes the following week.
The ALA is instructing libraries to make copies of the WBN letters and certificates to give the book givers. The week of Monday, April 14, 2014, the libraries or bookshops will hold open house receptions for the book givers, other supporters, and reporters.
If a library or bookshop is supporting five or more book givers, the reception is a requirement. If a particular book giver does not show up to pick up his or her box, the library or bookshop needs to contact the Ingram Book Co. The week of Monday, April 21, 2014, the libraries and bookshops need to be prepared for last-minute pick-ups by book givers and for community outreach for World Book Night.