Letter From a Rancho Librarian

Pamie –

As your book drive for San Diego County Library comes to a close, the community of Rancho San Diego wants to express its sincere thanks for your thoughtfulness and the generosity of your readers. The books we’ve been sent have built our collection up and provided more of what our customers want and need. If there is anyone still looking for the opportunity to contribute books to our library, the youth services list has been expanded to include several variations on Jack and the Beanstalk, as well as books on the Olympics, something we definitely need more of in this Olympics year!

We continue to be touched by the response to this drive. Thanks to everyone, far and wide!

Barbara Sutton
Youth Services Librarian
San Diego County Library
Rancho San Diego Branch
11555 Via Rancho San Diego
El Cajon, CA 92019

Letter From a San Marcos Librarian

Hi Pamie,

My name is Katrina, and I am the Youth Services Librarian at the San Marcos Branch of the San Diego County Library.

Thanks to your efforts in promoting SDCL’s Amazon wish lists, we are the lucky recipients of 18 books (so far)! Since our information was posted in your bookdrive blog, we have been steadily receiving shipments from people across the country! I am overwhelmed and not just a little choked up as items arrive here at the branch.

Thank you so much for thinking of us — what a wonderful gift to the children and teens in our community!

Katrina Neville
Youth Services Librarian
San Marcos Branch
San Diego County Library

Letter From a Lakeside Branch Librarian

Dear Pamie,

Many thanks to all of the people who have purchased books for the Lakeside Library. Best sellers, history, legal guides and reference books have come in from Washington, Texas, New York and even, London, England! Just the other day, I had a customer who needed a book on how to become a legal guardian for a child. I noticed that our copy was lost. I put a new edition on my wish list and within days I had it in my hands. Talk about real time collection development!

As other librarians for our system have commented, the library has been a great resource of comfort and rebuilding for members of our communities. Though our community was especially hard hit by the wildfires last fall, Lakeside’s renowned “cowboy spirit” has pulled them through. To read more about Lakeside and our history, visit the Lakeside Historical Society’s website.

Thank you, Pamela, for raising awareness about the plight of libraries in San Diego county, but of libraries everywhere.

Donna Ohr
Branch Librarian
Lakeside Branch Library
(619) 443-1660

Hi Pamie! I hope you’re

Hi Pamie!

I hope you’re doing well.

I received a letter today from the Beverly Public Library in Beverly, Massacusetts. I did an Amazon wishlist search for libraries in my area and Beverly. I was intrigued because Beverly is near Boston and the affluent cities of Cape Cod; how much help could they need as a well-situated city with access to both money and political input? Turn out, they are just as affected by budget cuts as a small library branch in Western Massachusetts or California. Here’s the letter (you got a shout-out as well!):

On behalf of the Beverly Public Library and the Trustees of the Beverly Public Library, please accept my sincere thanks for your generous donation to the Beverly Public Library of Hoax by Nicholas Von Hoffman. Thank you also for giving credit to Pamela Ribon.

This past year our book budget was cut by approximately 80%. This left very little money for books, magazine subscriptions, and newspapers. We are grateful for your support of the library because it makes it possible for us to provide much-needed books for our patrons.

Again, thank you!

Thomas F. Scully, library director

Eighty percent. Ridiculous.

I wanted to show you this letter to let you see the difference you’re making, slowly, all over the country. I’m on the other coast, but am urging everyone I know to not only help out the San Diego library system, but local branches as well. I’ll be talking to the English Club at Framingham State College this fall to see if we can figure out a similar program for the library. Their budget is currently at ZERO. I’m also trying to get my friends and co-workers registered to vote so that we can try to send the message to our lawmakers that this gutting of the arts and public works is unacceptable. It would have taken me quite a long time to realize the problem and figure out a way to ease it if it hadn’t been for pamie.com.

Thanks for doing this, Pamie. And thanks for taking time out to read this letter.


Hey Pam, Today I got

Hey Pam,

Today I got the nicest card from Donna M. at the Vista Branch in Vista, CA. She thanked me for the four books I sent and asked if I’d like a bookplate with my name in them! She was also surprised that someone from the Midwest would take the time and effort to browse their list and make a donation to a library that they’ve never seen nor visited. I’ve mentioned your book drive I just wish more people would donate!

Anyway, thanks again for the opportunity to improve my karma and make some children happy with new books to read!

Letter From an Alpine Branch Librarian


Thank you so much for connecting us to such generous people. We are so excited to see new books arrive and our customers are so grateful. You must be rewarded over and over again for all your good deeds! Thanks to all who have purchased books for the San Diego County Library system.

All of our branches share the wealth since all of our titles are interchanged among the 32 branches and two bookmobiles. It is a wonderful thing. We welcome all of our donors from near and far to come and visit us if you are ever in our neighborhood. We would love to meet you!

-From all the staff at the Alpine Library.


Letter From An El Cajon Librarian

This is so amazing! I’ve been reading your recaps and your website for a few years now, and I was just ordering your book for our library a few weeks ago when I got an email saying that you had chosen US for your book drive this year! I remember thinking what a great idea it was when you did it for Oakland, and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it here.

Since people seem to like to hear about where their books are going, I thought I would write and tell you about two of the branches that I know best.

I grew up in the town of Julian, which has about 3000 people and is on top of a mountain to the east of San Diego. It is known for its apple pie (since it gets cold enough there to grow apple trees and even gets a little snow) and for its charming gold-rush era buildings–it was a mining town and was almost the county seat before the gold ran out and most people left in the late 1800s. Nowadays most people in the town depend on tourists from “The City” for their income in one way or another–my parents run a summer camp!

Last year during the fires Julian suddenly became famous and it was really strange to see views on national television that were clearly filmed from the parking lot of my high school! Hundreds of people (and that’s a large percentage) lost their houses in the fires but most are rebuilding and still love living in Julian. In fact, they are just finishing work on a brand new library that will be shared by the high school, and is built right where those TV cameras were standing last year. You can see what the new library will look like and the old library (which is in a former one-room schoolhouse) is on our website . Since the new library is many times larger than the old one, they will definitely appreciate new books! (I’ve looked and I don’t think Julian has a wish list yet but I’m sure they will soon.)

Now though, I’m a librarian at the El Cajon branch of the SDCL, and it is about as different from Julian as it is possible to be! El Cajon is one of the largest branches in the system and one of the main reference centers for the county. (Vista is the other.) We answer a lot of the more difficult reference questions from the smaller branches, so we have a much larger collection than most other branches. It is also why we have some very expensive books on our wish list–you wouldn’t believe how much things like encyclopedias cost! So if you have any very wealthy readers, send them our way! (We also have lots of regular books on the list as well–I just wanted to explain why we have these ones that cost over $100 as well.)

The El Cajon branch is located in the downtown of a suburb east of San Diego, so we serve a very varied population. I especially enjoy working here because you never know what (or who) will turn up next. There is rarely a dull moment, and we like it that way.

So, thanks again for helping us, and double thanks to everyone who is sending books–you have no idea how wonderful it is to know that there are people all over the world thinking of us and sending us presents!

Also, everyone, don’t forget about your local libraries! Call up the librarians and ask a weird question–we like that.

Jenne Bergstrom
Reference and Young Adult Librarian
San Diego County Library, El Cajon Branch
(619) 588-3703

Allie G Rules.


Hi Pamie

Well, I just went crazy and sent a bunch of books to the Lincoln Acres Branch Library. I don’t know what happened – I started at their wishlist and it spiraled out from there. I kept thinking of one more book I had to send. Anyway here’s the list of what I sent:

Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs : A Book About Ancient Egypt Gail Gibbons; (This was on their wishlist). 
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference  Malcolm Gladwell; (Seemed appropriate -plus it’s so interesting!). 
Trixie Belden #1: The Secret of the Mansion (Trixie Belden, 1)  Julie Campbell; (Childhood favorite of mine). 
His Dark Materials Trilogy: The Golden Compass / The Subtle Knife / The Amber Spyglass [BOX SET]  Philip Pullman; (Blew me away). 
1001 Most Useful English Words for Spanish-Speaking People (Beginners’ Guides) Seymour Resnick; (Good reviews, sounded useful and fun). 
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Treasure Hunt (Encyclopedia Brown (Paperback)) Donald J. Sobol; (Childhood favorite of mine). 
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of Greek Myths  Bernard Evslin; (Who doesn’t love the Greek myths?). 
Beauty  Sheri S. Tepper; (Great spin on the classic fairy tale – good for yound adult and adult readers). 
The Partly Cloudy Patriot  Sarah Vowell; (So funny, so smart). 
Oh, Yuck: The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty  Joy Masoff; (All kids love this stuff and it’s a great way to learn). 
Jokelopedia  Ilana Weitzman; (I was a total jokebook addict as a kid). 
The Crafty Diva’s D. I. Y. Stylebook: A Grrrl’s Guide to Cool Creations You Can Make, Show Off, and Share  Kathy Cano Murillo; (Crafting makes me happy!). 
Paper Bag Princess (Munsch for Kids)  Robert Munsch; (sweet, funny story with great message)

Man, that was so fun! I wish I could do it every day!

Thanks Pamie – for all your hard work and humor. I hope you are feeling better soon! Stupid staph obviously doesn’t know who it’s messing with!

Allie G