COVID-19 has affected our Foundation in a number of ways – but this year it meant that our major fundraiser, the Great Book Swap, couldn’t go ahead in many schools, libraries and businesses.
Not to be daunted, Bloomsbury Publishers in Sydney found an innovative way to swap books and raise funds for literacy in remote communities – a virtual book swap!
“We held our Great Book Swap via Microsoft Teams,” Sonia Palmisano, Marketing and Publicity Manager for Children and Young Adult Books told us, “But there were some challenges to conducting a Great Book Swap by video.”
To hold a Great Book Swap, everyone is asked to bring in a favourite book to swap for another book and a gold coin donation. The books all get laid out on a table, and everyone gets to walk around and choose which one they want to take home. Virtually though, the Great Book Swap works a little differently.
“As usual, we each took turns showing and talking about our chosen book,” says Sonia, “But unlike previous years (where we all then leaped across the boardroom table in a mad scramble to claim the book we wanted), this year we pulled names out of a hat for each person to take turns choosing the book they wanted, to try and keep things as fair as possible.”
After their virtual swapping, it’s up to each person to deliver their book (by post or hand-delivery, whichever is possible) to its new owner.
“We each made a donation online and Bloomsbury matched the total that we raised,” says Sonia, “I am pleased to report this year’s Great Book Swap was a success and just as fun as previous years, but I do look forward to returning to our usual in-person mad-scramble event next year!”
Huge thanks to our friends at Bloomsbury for their ongoing support of our Foundation and the Great Book Swap!