March 24, 2015

James Patterson donating even more money, this time to libraries


James Patterson will donate $1.25 million to school libraries. © Featureflash / via Shutterstock

James Patterson will donate $1.25 million to school libraries.
© Featureflash / via Shutterstock

Last year, James Patterson made headlines with his initiative to donate $1 million to independent bookstores. Now, the bestselling author has pledged $1.25 million to school libraries around the country.

Shelf Awareness reports that Patterson is working with Scholastic Reading Club to reach out to libraries; Scholastic will contact its network of 62,000 schools and 800,000 teachers in order to administer applications for funding (which are also available for anybody to fill out online). Each school can receive a grant from $1,000-$10,000, and while they don’t have to disclose how that money ends up being used, recommendations include “repairs to a computer system or a school project focused on books and reading.”

Scholastic Reading Club president Judy Newman says of the plan:

James Patterson is such a champion of books and reading for all children. We are thrilled to work with him to support school libraries, which are essential for thriving school communities. James’s incredible generosity is moving and inspiring. With our tremendous ties to teachers and school librarians across the country, Scholastic is the perfect partner to help James impact children’s and educators’ lives in a lasting and meaningful way.

Scholastic won’t be matching Patterson dollar-for-dollar, but they match dollar amounts with bonus points, which teachers can spend “to acquire books and other materials for classroom use.”

Patterson explains his decision to give away even more of his money, stating, “Scholastic’s conviction that learning to read is the gateway to success in school and life is something I couldn’t feel more passionately about… I hope we’re able to increase awareness about the vital role that school libraries and librarians play in transforming lives and fostering a love for learning.”

The grants for school libraries will be given out on a rolling basis throughout 2015, starting with a first chunk of $250,000.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.