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California Summer Reading Program: Paws to Give (2014)
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California Summer Reading Program

Paws to Read, Paws to Give

A Statewide Drive to Benefit Animal Welfare Organizations

CLA Paws to Read, Paws to Give Drive:

An estimated 10,268 items have been reported collected along with $4000 in monetary contributions.

Thank you to all of our participating libraries. On behalf of California animals, and the organizations that serve them, thank you!

Make community giving a part of your Paws to Read 2014 summer reading program.

The needs of animal care groups are great. Approximately seven million dogs and cats enter shelters each year in the U.S., while only three to four million are adopted. Join libraries across the state in partnering with a local animal shelter or wildlife organization to collect much-needed items used to care for homeless or rescued animals (such as towels, leashes, food, toys, newspaper, and more) amd raise awareness of their work. CLA has created programming resources to help you design activities that will highlight the great work and constant needs of animal welfare organizations, and encourage patrons to participate in collection drives. We will be tracking libraries' progress and displaying bi-weekly statewide collection totals on the CLA website.

Join the effort and help rescued and homeless animals and wildlife organizations in your community.

About the Drive

Paws to Read, Paws to Give aims to benefit animals and the organizations that care for them by collecting necessary items, and also promoting pet adoption, community service with animals, and spay/neuter awareness. Use your drive as an opportunity for hosting craft workshops and other programs for patrons to create and donate items for animals in need.

The Paws to Read, Paws to Give Drive is a great way to showcase the work of local animal shelters and wildlife organizations while raising awareness of their year-round needs. The drive will encourage animal adoptions, volunteerism for animal organizations, and assistance for people who struggle financially with the care and feeding of their pets. In addition, the drive provides a chance to promote the inspirational and life-changing work of animal therapy organizations.

The drive will also highlight the library's role as a community hub and community partner. We encourage you to promote your Paws to Read, Paws to Give efforts in the community. CLA will promote your programs and the statewide collection totals on our website and Facebook page.

We hope your library will join this statewide effort to help animal organizations and habitat restoration groups in your community. Get in touch with your animal instincts and PAWS TO GIVE!

Taking Part in Four Easy Steps

  1. Choose a shelter or animal organization to receive your donations. Work closely with your partner to ensure that your efforts will meet their needs. Items they might need are: blankets, towels, newspapers, cat and dog food, toys and treats, leashes and collars, volunteer hours, or pet adoptions, but be sure to talk with your partner to find out what their specific needs are. Need help locating a shelter? Visit the ASPCA Shelter Locator
  2. Schedule your summer collection drive sometime between June and August 2014, and let CLA know you will be participating so that we can stay in touch, track your progress, and promote your efforts.
  3. Create programs and activities to engage the community in your efforts.
  4. Track your collection efforts (count everything that is donated!), record your donations in a fun, eye-catching way, and report your collection progress to CLA. We will tally the number of items collected statewide twice monthly and display the totals on CLA's website. We will also report the variety of items that libraries are collecting.

Programming Ideas

  • Partner with a local animal shelter to host a pet adoption event at the library. Invite shelter workers to come to the library with a few adoptable pets for patrons to view. Encourage attendees to bring a donation along to the drive.
  • Work with local businesses (pet stores in particular) to donate money or items to your drive when the community reads “X” number of hours or books during the course of the summer reading program.
  • Community service with an international focus. Partner with local businesses to sponsor “X” number of SRP hours or books read with a commitment to purchase bees, a goat, etc. for a family through Heifer International or Heifer’s “Read to Feed" program.
  • Host a stuffed animal drive to benefit a local hospital or homeless shelter.
  • Identify a local food pantry that collects pet food or pet supplies for homeless and/or low-income families struggling to keep their pets. Make that organization your community partner.
  • Host a "read to a dog" program for children. Encourage attendees to bring along a donation to your drive when they come. Visit for therapy dog organizations in your area.
  • Facilitate service opportunities for kids at local humane societies. Many local humane societies have service opportunities for kids listed on their web pages. One example is Find a local shelter in need of something that kids can make and give them the chance to complete these projects at the library.
  • Use the library to recruit volunteers for your local shelter all summer long. Shelters are often looking for volunteers to visit with and read to homeless animals. Volunteering with animals can be a great first step into the world of community service for children and teens. Check out this great program, Book Buddies, where kids volunteer to read to shelter cats!
  • Feature different animal organizations on the library websites each week throughout the summer while promoting your collection drive.
  • Run a campaign to increase awareness of spay/neuter resources. Host an amnesty day for un-spayed/neutered or unlicensed pets. Citizens could get a reduced fee for their animals if they come on a particular day and have their animal licensed and begin the spay/neuter process. Encourage attendees to bring a donation to your drive.
  • Focus on a "Pets Make A Difference" theme. Raise awareness of different animal-assisted therapies through lectures and feature different animals as heroes. Examples might include the work of rescue dogs in natural disasters, Wounded Warrior companion dogs, dogs that work as companions to people with disabilities, therapeutic horse riding programs, etc. Encourage program attendees to bring along a donation to your drive.
  • Support and encourage responsible pet adoptions. Host a workshop around the theme “So You Want A Pet? Ready, Set, Go!” Have shelter staff host a workshop on pet adoption readiness --what to know, how to prepare, the challenges and the benefits of having a pet. Encourage attendees to bring a donation along to your drive.
  • 2014 is the Year of the Horse in the Chinese calendar. Host a program that celebrates horses. There are several therapeutic horse programs around the state. Offer a lecture on the topic, or host a drive that benefits horses. To locate an equine therapy organization in your area visit
  • Host workshops that allow patrons to make something they can then donate. Supply the materials for patrons to bake dog treats, make animal toys, create no-sew blankets, etc. Solicit donations for fleece and other materials. This is a great activity for all ages.

Become a Participating Library

Please let us know you are taking part so that we can add you and your community partner to the online roster. You don't have to be using the Paws to Read program to participate. We'd like you to join us whatever summer reading theme your library has selected.

Send the following information as you receive it:

  • The name(s) of the library branch(es) that will be hosting a collection drive and the name of your community partner organization/animal shelter. (We will post the names of participating libraries and their community partners on the CLA website.)
  • Contact info for the coordinating librarian: name, email, and phone number (one name for all branches or a separate name for each branch.) We will be sending you program updates and requesting your item collection totals over the course of the summer.
  • Approximate dates of your collection drive.
  • A link to your shelter drive photos (at the end of your program). If you post photos of your events to your favorite photo-sharing site, library website, or Facebook page, please send us the link and we will add it to the CLA website for others to enjoy. Please remember to send only photos that you have permission to share publicly.
  • Please send all information to Trish Garone, CLA Programs Associate, at

Promoting Your Program

  • Get the word out. Use your library Facebook page, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, email, local papers and radio stations, to raise awareness.
  • Include the food drive in your summer reading program materials.
  • Display an eye-catching donation counter in the library to show your community how many items they’ve donated.
  • Please let us know your great promotion ideas and we will share them on the website.

Resources and Links

Participating Libraries

Don't see your library on the list? Contact Trish Garone to let us know that you're participating!

  • Alameda Free Library (in partnership with the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter)
  • Amador County Library (in partnership with Amador County Interfaith Food Bank)
  • Anaheim Public Libraries
    • Canyon Hills Library (in partnership with the Friends of the Anaheim Police Department's K-9 Association, in the name of police dog Bruno)
    • Central Library Children's Room (in partnership with OSPCA and Barks of Love)
    • East Anaheim Library (in partnership with the Friends of the Anaheim Police Department's K-9 Association, in the name of police dog Bruno)
    • Euclid Library (in partnership with Orange County SCPA)
    • Haskett Library (in partnership with the BARK program)
    • Ponderosa LIbrary (in partnership with the BARK program)
    • Sunkist Library (in partnership with OSPCA)
  • Berkeley Public Library
  • Calabasas Public Library (in partnership with Agoura Hills Animal Shelter)
  • Contra Costa County Library (in partnership with Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation: ARF)
    • Walnut Creek Library
    • Ygnacio Valley Library
  • Covina Public Library (In partnership with Upland Animal Shelter)
  • El Dorado County Library (in partnership with El Dorado County Animal Control)
    • Cameron Park Branch Library
    • Pollock Pines Branch Library
    • South Lake Tahoe Branch Library
  • Folsom Public Library (in partnership with the local animal shelter and zoo)
  • Fresno County Public Library
  • Fullerton Public Library (in partnership with OC Animal Care) 
  • Huntington Beach Public Library - Central Library Children’s Department
  • Los Angeles Public Library
    • Memorial Branch
  • Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library (in partnership with San Gabriel Valley Humane Society) 
  • Murrietta Public Library (in partnership with Animal Friends of the Valleys)
  • Ontario City Library
  • OC Public Library (in partnership with OC Animal Care)
    • Aliso Viejo Branch Library
    • Brea Branch Library
    • Costa Mesa Branch Library
    • Costa Mesa Tech Branch Library
    • Costa Mesa Verde Branch Library
    • Cypress Branch Library
    • Dana Point Branch Library
    • El Toro Branch Library
    • Foothill Ranch Branch Library
    • Fountain Valley Branch Library
    • Garden Grove Chapman Branch Library
    • Garden Grove Regional Branch Library
    • Garden Grove West Branch Library
    • Irvine Heritage Park Branch Library
    • Irvine University Park Branch Library
    • Irvine Katie Wheeler Branch Library
    • La Habra Branch Library
    • La Palma Branch Library
    • Ladera Ranch Branch Library
    • Laguna Beach Branch Library
    • Laguna Hills Tech Branch Library
    • Laguna Niguel Branch Library
    • Los Alamitos Rossmoor Branch Library
    • Rancho Santa Margarita Branch Library
    • San Juan Capistrano Branch Library
    • Seal Beach Mary Wilson Branch Library
    • Silverado Branch Library
    • Stanton Branch Library
    • Tustin Branch Library
    • Villa Park Branch Library
    • Westminster Branch Library
  • Orange Public Library System (In partnership with OC Animal Care)
    • Orange Public Library & History Center
    • El Modena Branch Library
    • Taft Branch Library
  • Palo Alto City Library (in partnership with Palo Alto Animal Services Shelter)
  • Pasadena Public Library (in partnership with Pasadena Humane Society/SPCA)
    • Allendale Branch Library
    • Central Library
    • Hastings Branch Library
    • Hill Avenue Branch Library
    • Lamanda Park Branch Library
    • La Pintoresca Branch Library
    • Linda Vista Branch Library
    • San Rafael Branch Library
    • Santa Catalina Branch Library
    • Villa Parke Branch Library
  • Rancho Cucamonga Library Services
  • Riverside County Library System
    • Desert Hot Springs Library
    • Glen Avon Regional Library (in partnership with Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Jurupa Valley)
    • Idyllwild Library
    • San Jacinto Public Library (in partnership with Ramona Humane Society)
  • Roseville Public Library (in partnership with Placer County SPCA)
  • San Anselmo Library (in partnership with Marin Humane Society)
  • San Diego Public Library
    • Allied Gardens/Benjamin Branch
    • Balboa Branch
    • Carmel Mountain Ranch Branch
    • Carmel Valley Branch
    • Central Library
    • City Heights/Weingart Branch
    • Clairemont Branch
    • College-Rolando Branch
    • Kensington-Normal Heights Branch
    • La Jolla/Riford Branch
    • Linda Vista Branch
    • Logan Heights Branch
    • Mira Mesa Branch
    • Mission Hills Branch
    • Mission Valley Branch
    • Mountain View/Beckwourth Branch
    • North Clairemont Branch
    • North Park Branch
    • North University Community Branch
    • Oak Park Branch
    • Ocean Beach Branch
    • Otay Mesa-Nestor Branch
    • Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch
    • Paradise Hills Branch
    • Point Loma/Hervey Branch
    • Rancho Bernardo Branch
    • Rancho Peñasquitos Branch
    • READ/San Diego Branch
    • San Carlos Branch
    • San Ysidro Branch
    • Scripps Miramar Ranch Branch
    • Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch
    • Skyline Hills Branch
    • Tierrasanta Branch
    • University Community Branch
    • University Heights Branch
    • Valencia Park/Malcolm X Branch
  • San Mateo Public Library (in partnership with the Peninsula Humane Society)
    • Hillsdale Library
    • Main Library
    • Marina Library
  • San Rafael Public Library (in partnership with The Milo Foundation and Marin Friends of Ferals)
    • Downtown Library
    • Pickleweed Library
  • Santa Clara City Library (in partnership with Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority)
  • Santa Clarita Public Library (in partnership with St. Bonnie's Pet Sanctuary & The Gentle Barn)
    • Old Town Newhall Library Branch Library
    • Valencia Branch Library
    • Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Branch Library
  • Santa Cruz Public Libraries (In partnership with the SPCA)
    • Aptos Branch
    • Bookmobile
    • Boulder Creek Branch
    • Branciforte Branch
    • Capitola Branch
    • Downtown Branch
    • Felton Branch
    • Garfield Park Branch
    • LaSelva Beach Branch
    • Live Oak Branch
    • Scotts Valley Branch
  • Upland Public Library (in partnership with Upland Animal Shelter)
  • Watsonville Public Library (in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and Save our Shores)
  • Yorba Linda Public Library


Please contact CLA Programs Associate, Trish Garone, at