April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Goal: Bury the White House in Books


A poster created by librarians who want President Trump to read “March.”

Librarians seeking a way to make their voices heard among the new political administrative have a new outlet.

A social media movement, “Bury the White House in Books on Valentine’s Day!,” is encouraging anyone interested to send books to the White House. Alarmed by President Donald Trump’s admission in the New York Times that he does not read books, the creators of the initiative, via Facebook, invite users to purchase a book that they think President Trump should read, write a note inside explaining their choice or discussing a noteworthy issue, and send the book to the White House on February 14.

Participants are invited to send their choices to:

President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

In a related initiative, inspired by the wins that March: Book Three (Top Shelf, 2016) by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated by Nate Powell, garnered at the Youth Media Awards, Brooklyn (NY) Friends School librarians Kathy Hartzler, Gili Warsett, and Angie Ungaro have jumped on the bandwagon, hoping to rally other school librarians across the country to send copies of the civil rights hero’s graphic memoir to the White House. Their goals: to increase awareness of March: Book Three, to give librarians the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity, and to illustrate the power of literature.

Noting that Lewis was refused a library card in in 1956 because he was black, Warsett says, “Librarians insist on remembering our role in history, honoring and giving voice to change-makers like John Lewis and working toward ensuring that libraries continue to be welcoming and open to all….We hope our elected officials will be as moved and as transformed by these books as so many readers already have been.”

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Mahnaz Dar About Mahnaz Dar

Mahnaz Dar (mdar@mediasourceinc.com) is Assistant Managing Editor for Library Journal and School Library Journal and can be found on Twitter @DibblyFresh.



  1. Allison Gray says:

    What a great idea! Am heading out to the bookstore now…

  2. Sarah Bowden says:

    I thought this was a great idea at first. Upon reflection, though, I believe it’s a waste of resources sending books to President Trump. It’s not going to change him. We should be sending these books to libraries who don’t have book-buying budgets. Our goal should be to raise generations of readers so we can never again have a president who doesn’t read books.

    • A wonderful idea. While President Trump won’t read any of them, I know the books will be acknowledged and shared with the Washington DC population.
      Kathleen Reynolds
      Media Teacher