Can you really argue with free books? Reading is Fundamental (RIF) has been dispensing books to kids for years, and now the program is in jeopardy. The four elementary schools I work at all take part in RIF and it is a highlight of the year. Here’s the scene:

1. Books are purchased with a combination of school and RIF funds.

2. Books are put out for display.

3. Kids enter the library with their class to choose a book.

4. Christmas morning-like feelings ensue.

I think Jeanette Larson sums it up best over at the ALSC Blog:

As a children’s librarian I support programs like Reading Is Fundamental, as a volunteer, donor, and partner. We know that children, especially in low income families, need to own books that they will treasure.

The President’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 eliminates the Inexpensive Book Distribution Program, which is the RIF Book Distribution Program. Unless Congress reinstates funding for this program, RIF would be unable to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation’s youngest and most at-risk children. Please consider writing a letter or email to the President and your state senators and representative asking that funding for this program be reinstated.

Please go to or click the thumbnail below to ask your legislator for RIF funding to be reinstated. It only takes a minute.