Book Drive, fundraising continue for PHS Ambassador Christopher Stevens Memorial Library

School Board donates books to PHS Library: Cory Smegal, Lindsay Thomasson, President Veronica Anderson Thigpen, Vice President Hilary Cooper, PUSD Superintendent Jennifer Hawn, Student Board members Siddharth Bhatia and Orla Cohen, PHS Parent Club member Shari Fujii

The Piedmont High School (PHS) Parent Club and PHS Book Advocacy Club hosted a Turkey Trot Book Drive and announce an ongoing Fundraising and Book Drive for the Ambassador Christopher Stevens Memorial Library at PHS. 

The average age of the books are 20 years old and there are nine books per student, less than 50% of the national average. 

Teacher Librarian Kathryn Levenson explains, “It takes about $18,000-22,000 a year for our databases, book processing supplies and 100 or so new books for our student collection. Our EBSCO database alone is over $10,000 per year (equal to our entire reduced budget this year).  

Last year we were able to subscribe to a digital edition of the New York Times for each student and staff member, costing $1600. Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to pay for a subscription this year and are seeking donations. Our Social Sciences Department teachers rely on this resource for their students.

Each year we search for grants to make up the disparity between expenditures and budget. We had about $5000 rolled over from last year’s grants to purchase new books.”

How can you help close the $7,000 gap?

  1. Ask your organization to make a grant to the library:  Please email a link to your organization’s grant application to Librarian Kathryn Levenson at
  2. Donate via check made payable to Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD):  Checks with a memo “For PHS/MHS Library Books” (or any school library) may be mailed to 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611. 
  3. Make a monetary donation at the School Store on Infinite Campus:  PUSD families can log into Infinite Campus, select School Store, PHS Online Store, PHS Library to donate any amount. 
  4. Request a matching donation:  Ask your employer to match your donation for your charitable contribution using PUSD tax ID# 94-2503182.
  5. Purchase Books from the Amazon Gift Registry: Gift a new book to the library for your student’s birthday or graduation and it will be acknowledged with a book plate.  See over 200 book titles requested by teachers and students. Search gift registries for “PHS & MHS Library” and “Books We Would Like.”  Books need not be purchased at Amazon.  Support local independent bookstores like Reasonable Books and A Great Good Place for Books that have supported the district libraries with discounts. 
  6. Donate Books at the PHS Main Office:  The library seeks gently used books that are no older than five years old from the publication date and have dust jackets for hardcovers.  Do you see a book on the Amazon gift registry that you have at home?  Special ask is for a world atlas (the current atlas is a 2004 edition). Leave your student’s or family’s name on a post-it note as you wish to be acknowledged on a book plate.   Not sure whether a book is appropriate?  Email photos of the book’s cover and publication page to Kathryn Levenson, Teacher Librarian, at
  7. Learn about the library, its activities, and budget challenges in Ms. Levenson’s December Quarterly Report.

Turkey Trot Book Drive

PHS junior Clea Villaluz, co-founder and co-president of the PHS Club Advocacy Club, led the Turkey Trot Book Drive event and, with former PHS Parent Club library liaison Lillis Stearn, delivered 570 books to East Bay Children’s Book Project (EBCBP). Former Wildwood Librarian Ellen Reed received the books at EBCBP, where she volunteers with former Piedmont Middle School (PMS) Librarian Randi Voorhies.  250 books were delivered to the Ambassador Christopher Stevens Memorial Library.  

Where to Donate Other Books

Books for children ages 0 to 12 can be donated at the Piedmont Middle School Main Office, 740 Magnolia Ave., Piedmont.  Children’s books will be placed in a donation box for EBCBP.  Books for middle school students will be offered on a trade shelf.  

Elementary School Libraries: books and maker space activities may be offered to librarians.  Email questions to library assistants Tiffany Cothran (Beach and Havens) and Robin Ludmer (Wildwood).

Schoolmates: books, puzzles, games, and supplies are appreciated.

Montclair branch of the Oakland Public Library:  there are donation bins inside the library; the publishing date must be within the last 10 years.

The Bookmark Bookstore (sponsored by The Friends of the Oakland Public Library): accepts books, certain magazines, DVD’s, CD’s, Vinyl, video games.  721 Washington St., Oakland.

Follow the PHS Book Advocacy Club on Instagram @book_advocacy_club. The student club’s mission is to promote educational and literary freedom. It meets on Tuesdays during lunch in the library.

One thought on “Book Drive, fundraising continue for PHS Ambassador Christopher Stevens Memorial Library

  1. Librarian Kathryn Levenson reports that she is urgently seeking a benefactor to renew the $1622.40 New York Times digital subscription that was due on Dec 17. This is a resource available to every student and teacher and is most heavily used for social science classes. A grant or donation in any amount is appreciated.

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