Reading Roundup

Hi everyone,
David publicity photo
Our Reading Roundup committee met yesterday to select the winners of this year’s grant requests from Springfield Public Schools librarians. Renee Hunt, Rex Hansen, Terry Bond, and Morey Mechlin were there, as they have been all these years. I’ve never worked on a more stable committee. A few years ago we turned over the reins of Reading Roundup to the Foundation for SPS so Director Natalie Murdock officiated at the meeting.

As I’ve said before, sitting there reading grant requests gives us insights into the needs and ideas of librarians throughout the district, which is Missouri’s largest public school system. It has been a privilege to serve students in this capacity for the past sixteen years.

My thanks to all.


Reading Roundup

Hi everyone,

Yesterday the Reading Roundup committee met to decide which librarian grant requests we’ll fund for this coming school year. Reading Roundup began in 2000 as a community-based committee that wanted to help the Springfield Public School district raise all of its school libraries to the highest level mandated by the state. On the way to meeting the target, about 190,000 new books were added to the system, enough books to make an imaginary stack one mile high. Thanks to the dedication of the board of education and its administrators, 135,000 books were added by the district while the remaining 55,000 came from donations through other sources, including Reading Roundup. Of the 190,000 total, nearly 90,000 replaced worn and outdated books. Springfield’s public school libraries had never been better.

Since 2007 we’ve changed our mission to grant requests from librarians that are specific to their particular student body needs and can’t be funded through traditional district budget channels. Over the fifteen years since Reading Roundup began we’ve seen many changes in the needs of school libraries and the ways in which they serve students. Keeping up, in these digital times, is a challenge for all concerned. In 2013 we turned over the reins of Reading Roundup to the Foundation for Public Schools. I no longer chair the committee but nearly all of our original committee members remain on board as we continue to seek ways to be helpful to the students in our public schools.

Winners of this year’s round of grant funding will be announced next month by Natalie Murdock, executive director of the Foundation for Public Schools. We’re about to kick off the fund raising part of each year’s campaign to replenish our reserves for next year.

Reading Roundup Book Fair

Hi everyone,

For those of you close enough to attend, Reading Roundup is holding a book fair at Springfield’s Barnes & Noble, at the corner of Battlefield and Glenstone, on Saturday, August 23. Here’s the program.

Saturday, August 23rd
Barnes & Noble-Springfield, MO

11 am-Cookie, Mouse & Hometown Hero storytime
11:30 am-Noon-Byron Biggers Band
Noon-1 pm-Louie, from the Springfield Cardinals.
1 pm-3 pm-Author Linda Barboa will be signing: Stars in Her Eyes.
3 pm-5 pm-Author Steven Law will be signing Sonora.

Stop by the Café and order the “Book Worm”
Vanilla Bean crème based Frappuccino with special toppings.

This will be our second book fair of this year for Reading Roundup and we’re hoping for a good turnout of people who will shop at the store that day to support us. A percent of store sales on that day through August 28 will be donated to Reading Roundup and all the money we receive goes to fund grants requested by librarians in Springfield Public Schools to meet special needs of their students. FOR YOUR PURCHASES TO QUALIFY, YOU MUST TELL THE CHASHIER THAT YOU WANT TO SUPPORT READING ROUNDUP!! THIS APPLIES TO THE SNACK BAR TOO.

Bring your young Springfield Cardinals fans to the store on the 23rd to meet the team mascot Louie. Buy books by authors Linda Barboa and Steven Law so they can sign them for you. Listen to musical renditions of poems by Byron Biggers Band, which consists of Chris Craig, Gale Clithero, and me. Here are two links to our last performance at Barnes & Noble. Thanks to SPS Foundation Director Jana Bachus for recording and posting us on YouTube.

And by all means treat yourself to a Book Worm drink at the snack bar. It’s wonderful. I think I had two last time and bought one for someone else.

Please come if you can and tell others about the event. We’re working pretty hard to earn the funding!

Byron Biggers Band

Hi everyone,

Thanks (?) to Jana Bachus who, among other things, serves the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools as its Executive Director, the fabled Byron Biggers Band is now on YouTube!

During the Reading Roundup book fair at Barnes & Noble this past Saturday, Jana, who also serves as chair of Reading Roundup, took pictures of our group performing. If you think you’re strong enough, here’s the link. You’ve been warned. This is serious music!

A reminder that the book fair extends through May 1 and a percentage of store sales during the fair goes to support Reading Roundup’s goal of funding as many as possible of the grants submitted by our public school librarians to buy needed materials for their students.

Reading Roundup Book Fair at Barnes & Noble


Hi everyone,

We had a wonderful event yesterday. I’ll post pictures when I get them but I took this one myself after ordering the drink of the day at the snack bar. Yes, it’s called The Book Worm. What else would you expect in a book store during an event to raise money for books for libraries? I think I ordered the first one of the day, judging from the smiles of the young women who concocted the masterpiece. I ordered two more before the day was over. Yep. That good.

Dozens of families came to the store to enjoy readings by boys and girls from four Springfield elementary schools: Disney, Field, Harrison, and Pershing. Special treats included Bellatones and Brotones (acapella singing groups from Central High School) and Sequiota Singing Sensations from Sequiota Elementary.

My gratitude to Chris Craig and Gale Clithero for joining me in a thirty minute performance of Byron Biggers Band! Jana Bachus swears she recorded us on her phone and intends to put us on YouTube. If that happens, I’ll post the link.

We’re all grateful to Jim Troye and Renee Hunt for hosting us at Barnes & Noble and working so hard to make everything run smoothly. This is an event of the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools so thanks go to Jana Bachus and Natalie Murdock for their perfect orchestration of the day’s events.

So a good time was had by all and I’m sure that we raised some money for Reading Roundup that will help fund requests by school librarians in our public schools.

The event lasts through May 1 so a percent of all sales in the store continue to go the benefit of Reading Roundup. You need to present a free voucher at the register but if you don’t find one, tell the person at the register that you want your purchase to count toward Reading Roundup. A couple of days ago I also showed you how you can order online from the Springfield store to help.