Spring Valley, California - The mission - should you choose to accept it – is actually quite simple: Help spread a love for reading and have fun doing it.
The Casa de Oro branch of the San Diego County Library has launched Operation Teen Book Drop. Young adults (or any library patron for that matter) are encouraged to pick up one of the designated books and “drop” them somewhere in the community for another individual to find.
The journey of the books will be tracked on social media.
“This is our first time doing something like this,” said Allyson O’Brien, the branch manager. “It’s to get our young adults reading and discovering new books.”
The library has designated 10 books for the program. People can stop by, pick up a book and drop it somewhere in the community or read it first and then drop it off somewhere.
“They can leave them in a park, at a bus stop, anywhere they feel someone will find it and read it,” said O’Brien.
“The books are donated from members of the public and they are already titles we have in our collection or they are publishers’ copies that can’t be used in other ways.”
The books are all placed inside a big sealable plastic bag with a bright pink instruction sheet visible to whomever finds the books around the community.
People are encouraged to read the book then post on the branch’s Facebook page where they found the book and that they’ve dropped it off again somewhere else for the next person to find.
“Besides our own Facebook page, we are encouraging them to talk about it on their own Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest accounts,” said O’Brien. “The whole point is to get them talking about reading and encouraging others to do it.”
The program just started this week and there are already books in circulation in the community. Anime books were the first to go. So was a copy of Eragon from Christopher Paolini.
“Young adult literature is still a fairly new phenomenon but it’s really taken off on its own,” she said. “Some well-known authors like John Grisham are now publishing books for young adults.”
O’Brien said a lot of older adults read the books as well.
“Some of our best literature has always been coming-of-age stories,” she said. “Reading is something that lights the fire inside all of us.”
If the program is as successful as hoped, O’Brien has plans to expand it to younger readers and eventually adults.
She also has plans for a book scavenger hunt of sorts.
“I’d like to try putting the books on area landmarks or even talk to stores about putting them on a shelf in a store,” she said. “It’ll be a fun guessing game for teens to figure out where the books are.”
The Casa de Oro branch library is located at 9805 Campo Road #180, Spring Valley.