Another milestone, a continuing literacy commitment

I’ve mused previously about the importance of literacy. From those musings, coupled with kind advice and support from book and publishing friends and acquaintances in real life and online, I’ve made a commitment to supporting literacy initiatives and programs … every time I hit a followership milestone on Twitter. This time, I’ve made my donation to the following organization:

First Book Canada

First Book provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 85 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.

The first steps for First Book/Le Premier Livre came in 2006 when First Book President, Kyle Zimmer, and members of First Book’s senior team traveled to Toronto and met with leaders from private, government, and social sectors to discuss First Book/Le Premier Livre. The team met with many of the major Canadian children’s publishers as well as Canadian affiliates of our US publishing partners. The Honourable James K. Bartleman, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; John O’Leary, President of Frontier College; and Tim Pinnington, EVP TD Bank Financial Group and First Book Board member, hosted receptions which offered the opportunity to meet with key leaders and stakeholders from foundations, library organizations, and education/outreach programs serving children from low-income families across Canada.

Learn more about the organization at: and

As I’ve mentioned previously on this subject, much more important than numbers of followers or influence scores or whatever is that we are in this social milieu reading and writing and talking … about books and literature and print and digital formats and reading devices, and on to bookstores and libraries and the vital reading experience in all its forms. I value those who follow me and converse with me, those that I follow and learn from, and those that I come across even fleetingly in this vibrant tweeting, retweeting, chattering, enthusiastic and engaged environment. It’s not the numbers of them (although that there are an endless potential for book friends out there is astonishing), but the quality of the discourse and the spirit, dealing with fundamental issues, not to mention myriad delights.

Numbers are just numbers. But then again, we can use those numbers in creative ways to challenge ourselves to remember, to recognize, to give back. Through this exercise, I’ve learned about other organizations and institutions supporting literacy and books that I’d like to recognize in future, so I’m going to set a goal to do just that whenever I hit one of those “number” milestones. I challenge other book tweeters and bloggers to do the same.

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