It all started on May Day, 2003. Sitting at her computer desk, Pamie was reading about the Oakland Public Library’s desperate attempt to acquire new books for their shelves. With their funding cut too drastically to purchase materials for their community, they had resorted to making wish lists at Amazon, asking anybody to send a book their way. She wrote an entry asking pamie.com readers to spend a few seconds to “help the children,” because libraries are where we learn all kinds of things about ourselves. They are filled with more than just entertainment and answers; they are filled with potential. (Okay, the entry was a little dirtier than that, but the sentiment was the same.)
Because a pamie.com reader is no slacker, within days Oakland received hundreds of books, and the surprised librarians were practically kissing the UPS men when they’d arrive with stacks of boxes. Within weeks over 700 donations had been made to the Oakland Public Library system. They were then able to gain national attention (including the eye of Michael Moore), and eventually got Measure Q overwhelmingly passed, which gives much-needed attention, money and materials to their branches.
In 2004 pamie.com helped the San Diego Public Library system after a series of wildfires damaged many of their branches. Once again they swooped in, unannounced, and sent hundreds of books, CDs and DVDs their way. It only takes a few minutes of your time, but the effects can last for decades.
In 2005 pamie.com reached out to a Tsunami-ravaged village in India, and working in conjunction with Asha For Education, sponsored an entire village of schoolchildren, more than 2400 in all, and sent each one of them back to school with all of their materials, books, uniforms and backpacks. If that doesn’t make you smile, you are made of solid stone, and it’s time for you to reach out and see how good it feels to help a complete stranger.
Before Pamie got too busy and famous she wrote for the site Television Without Pity (TWoP), where she met David (a.k.a. Glark) [...Who obviously wrote that last sentence. - p]. TWoP’s charity initiative — Tubey’s Kids — raised funds for educational charities including a post-Katrina fund drive where the kind-hearted “TWoPpers” donated over $30,000 to buy textbooks and classroom supplies for schools taking children displaced by Katrina. David and Pamie decided to join forces and resources to create the Dewey Donation System to help libraries in need out in troubled times.
In 2006 we launched Dewey with the Harrison County Library System book drive. Post Hurricane Katrina, several branches lost their entire collections, and some still aren’t able to open their doors. This time they knew we’re coming, and they’re were anxiously awaiting the arrivals. We tried to find local bookstores to help out, but there aren’t any. We tried to find independent bookstores to help out, but they physically can’t get to them. This community is still struggling to restore order, and the only bookstore that can reach Harrison County quickly and easily was the big boy: Amazon.com. (By the way, if you work for Amazon, Pamie’s been trying for years to get them to notice these humble book drives, to ask them to help out in any way they can.)
By the end of the drive, 574 people donated over 1800 books and almost $3000! This is all about community, and what can happen when one group of people reach out to another.
Dewey got a little help from his friends that year, and was able to giveaway lots of fun prizes. Our grand tally was 882 donors, with 1928 Books to the Children’s Institute and $17494 in cash to the Rockhouse Foundation to help build a new library at the Negril All Age School.
In 2009 nobody had any jobs or money so Dewey was like, “That’s cool, y’all. I get it.”
We had two book drives in 2010: a mini drive to celebrate Pamie’s new novel, and a larger fundraiser (that even got Pamie’s mom dancing) for the Village Learning Place in Baltimore that resulted in a whopping 667 books and a total of $7516!
All About Dewey’s Little Helpers
Pamela is a TV writer, screenwriter and best-selling novelist. She’s been in comedy rooms for both network and cable television, most notably the Emmy award-winning Samantha Who?. Pamela has adapted her popular novels for both film and television, and developed original series for ABC, ABC Family, Sony, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox Productions. She’s currently developing an original television series with Jerry Weintraub Productions, in addition to writing an original feature script for the Disney Channel and creating a graphic novel for Oni Press.
Pamela was once an Oprah.com contributor, was a flagship recapper for Television Without Pity, and was a weekly columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. She’s known as a pioneer in the blogging world with her successful website pamie.com, which has been spotlighted for Lifetime Achievement from the Weblog Awards. Her stage work has been showcased at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival and she created the accidental international scandal known as Call Us Crazy: The Anne Heche Monologues.
Pamela is a former Austinite with a BFA in Acting from the University of Texas. She has been entered into the Oxford English Dictionary under the word “Muffin Top.” That is not a joke. You can follow her @pamelaribon, where she somehow writes even more.
David T. Cole
David T. Cole (right) helps run Through Methods, Glarkware and is always taking photos which you can check out on his blog. He was also a co-founder of both Television Without Pity and Fametracker. David lives in Manhattan for now where he thinks why it is his wife won’t let him get a dog. Does she hate joy? He can be reached at email@example.com.