I imagine I’ll be writing this in fits and starts, given how busy we are tonight. The reference room is filled with people using our reference books and our computers. The collective hum of scholars makes me almost as happy as the baba ghanouj I had on dinner break. Given the quality of the baba ghanouj here in Oakland, that’s saying something.
But: a post I promised you, and a post you shall have. Especially since it’s less a post and more of an invitation to join me on my next wacky library adventure.
The Winter RAT One-Time Pledge Drive
Terri Gross I’m not. I am, however, participating in the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Winter Read-A-Thon, a fundraiser dreamed up by my peers who work in the New and Featured department. When they first announced the project, I had two thoughts simultaneously:
- That’s sheer genius!, and
- Hey, the acronym for that would be Winter RAT
Good thing I wasn’t on the planning committee, eh?
At any rate, it works like this: you sign up to secure pledges for the amount of time you spend reading between January 8 and February 19, 2011, Pledges can also come in the form of one-time, flat donations. This is to prevent persons like myself, who read 24/7, from taking unsuspecting pledgers to the cleaners.
And I thought, help raise funds for my library by doing what I’m going to do anyway? Where’s the registration form? And where the heck can I find a stuffed rat to serve as my project mascot?
Meet Rattus Jellibatus, the official mascot of the Winter RAT project.
Isn’t he adorable? I found him on Etsy, and he’s winging his way here from Australia as we speak. Once he gets here, I plan to photograph him in various spots at the library, enjoying the books, using our research databases, and, of course, helping me raise funds for the Read-A-Thon.
[I should point out that at least one colleague has expressed disdain for poor Rattus, and has threatened to stomp on him. I am currently writing up a Rat Sensitivity Training Plan that I hope to submit to Human Resources by the end of the month. Honestly. Some people's children. Hee.]
This is where you come in, gentle readers. I would like you to consider signing up to sponsor me for Winter Read-A-Thon, and I’ve come up with a number of different incentives for you to do so.
I know you probably get a lot of requets for donations on a regular basis. I’m adding my request to the pile for two simple reasons:
- I believe libraries change lives, and
- You don’t ask, you don’t get.
That being said, I don’t believe in asking over and over and over again. This isn’t PBS or NPR. You have lives, and limited funds. So here’s what I’m proposing. Take a look at the list of incentives below, and consider making a one-time pledge. You may make a pledge at any point between now and February 19, and you have until March 1, 2011 to send me your pledges.
I know, I know, it’s tough times out there. I assure you, no donation is too small – I believe in the power of crowdsourcing. If, for example, every single one of my Facebook friends pledged only $1, I would be 90% of the way toward my high-end goal, of which we shall speak in a moment. But if you’re not in a position to give, I totally feel you. That’s why I’m only asking once.
What’s In It For Me?
I’m so glad you asked! If you make a pledge to LAV’s Winter RAT project, you get the following:
- Access to a pledgers-only Winter RAT blog, which will detail my readerly adventures, and feature many darling photos of Rattus Jellibattus in quirky Pittsburgh locations, once he makes it through TSA screening.
- The chance to win swag in a weekly raffle. Trust me. It’s cool stuff.
- The power of recommendation compels me! I give my peer Karen Keys credit for this one–if you pledge me, you get to pick one book for me to read per dollar pledged, up to $5.00 (keep in mind, I can’t read EVERYTHING in a finite period, so play nice).
You will also get my undying gratitude, but many of you have that anyway. There is, however, one more thing.
Straight to Pink
My high-end fundraising goal is simple: If I can obtain $500 in pledges for Winter Read-A-Thon, I will dye my hair as pink as dear Rattus Jellibattus. And I will leave it that way through ALA annual, so that you can get the full effect in New Orleans.
But Leigh Anne, you may protest. YA librarians do that all the time as an incentive for their teens. Why is this different?
It’s different because not everybody reading this essay is a librarian, for a change. And there are quite a few people in my past and present who would get a big charge out of sensible, sedate old me doing something so overtly outrageous when covert ops are more my style. At least, I’m hoping.
So, if you think LAV with a head of bright pink hair would be a hoot, please consider making a pledge at your comfort level. Honesty compels me to admit I’ve already netted my first donor by promising she could come with me to the hair salon and watch me get it done, so the journey’s already started, my friends. Have at it.
Nuts and Bolts
If you’ve already made up your mind to sponsor me, woohoo! Please e-mail me at vrabell at carnegielibrary dot org with the subject heading “Winter RAT Pledge” and the following information:
- Your name
- The amount of your pledge
- Your e-mail address if you wish to have access to the subscriber-only Winter RAT blog
- The best way to contact you if you win a weekly raffle
Keep in mind you don’t need to send anything now. In fact, I’d be interested in knowing how many of you would like a PayPal pledge option – I can set that up easy-peasy, if there’s enough interest.
If you need some time to think about it, feel free. Bookmark this post. Think it over. Get back to me. You can leave a comment here at Alchemy, or e-mail me at the address given above with the subject heading “Winter RAT question.”
And if now is not the correct time for you to make a donation? I totally understand. Thank you in advance for reading this missive–which, as I suspected was banged out hastily between patron interactions–and godspeed to you in 2011.
I’m dreaming of a pink NoLA, and a well-funded Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. What say you?