January 2012 Newsletter

505,470 books distributed to date!

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Bernie's Book Bank exceeds 500,000 books distributed!

2012 started off with a bang! On January 18, Bernie's Book Bank surpassed 500,000 books at a distribution at Roy Elementary School in Northlake, Illinois. This was the third time we've distributed books at Roy, and the kids were excitedly waiting for us. Upon hearing the announcement that it was "a Bernie's day," a whole classroom of first graders started squealing and jumping up and down as if on pogo sticks.


Throughout the distribution, we watched with big smiles as the kids opened their bags and the trading began. In a 5th grade classroom, one child held on tight to the last of the Harry Potter book series, brimming with pride.


This is exactly why we work so hard to facilitate the collection, processing and redistribution of books, and to create a sustainable, repeatable program that pours books into the homes of at-risk children. Because there is no greater joy than seeing a child's smile beaming from a gift of books.

Making a Difference for Tiara

People often ask about the inspiration for forming Bernie's Book Bank. After retiring from the golf business, Founder and Executive Director Brian Floriani worked as a reading paraprofessional at Shiloh Park Elementary School in Zion. Below, Brian tells the story of Tiara, one of the first children we served, whose struggle with reading was a key factor in the formation of Bernie's Book Bank.



Zebra's in the Warehouse!

In 2012, Bernie's Book Bank's goal is to collect, process and

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distribute 600,000 books, and to expand the number of children we serve annually from 35,000 to 50,000.


To prepare for our expansion, we reached out to Zebra Technologies. For the past few months, engineers from Zebra Technologies have been volunteering their professional expertise and evaluating the workflow in our processing center.  "When I was first approached about helping Bernie's Book Bank, I thought I would find a small operation with a few tables and people," says Senior Logistics Engineer Marco Romero. "I was surprised to find such a large operation inside the building and knew immediately that I could make a difference. And once I met the people behind it, I knew I had to help. Brian and his team have a passion for BBB that is infectious and clearly a driving force behind their success."


Marco and the Zebra team have been analyzing our workflow, looking for ways to capitalize on the space we have and improve our efficiency while ensuring the safety of staff and volunteers.

"I focused my efforts on enhancing the great operations that already existed," he says, "while allowing room for expansion and maintaining safety and its fun environment. I look forward to continuing to work with BBB, not only on this project but on future ones as well." 

In December, Marco and Marc Weinstein, Director Global PMO, presented their findings to the Bernie's Book Bank Board of Directors. Their recommendations include a more efficient workflow, racking systems for vertical storage, the purchase of a forklift, and new container systems for outgoing inventory.


We are now in the process of raising the needed capital to complete these improvements. We are also raising capital to purchase a box truck and hire another driver so we can continue to expand the number of children we serve. Stay tuned!

In This Issue
Kicking Off A Great Year!
Making a Difference for Tiara
Zebra's in the Warehouse
Our Mission  


Bernie's Book Bank facilitates the collection, processing and redistribution of quality new & gently used children's books so as to significantly increase BOOK OWNERSHIP among at-risk infants, toddlers and school age children living throughout Chicagoland.


Our goal is to be distributing 1 MILLION books per year by 2013.


Want to get involved?
Bernie's Book Bank realizes that our mission is impossible without the help and dedication of many. It is our goal to insure that as a volunteer, you receive way MORE than you give. Below are some suggestions for getting involved:

Collect Children's Books at home, at work, or through any other organization. We'll supply everything you need.

Sponsor a Community Outreach Activity through your office. Meet here for lunch and an hour of volunteering with co-workers. It's fun, easy and a great team-building experience.

Have your Book Club Meeting at the warehouse. Volunteer in the warehouse for an hour or so, and then move the group to our conference room for your Book Club discussion. You are welcome to bring wine, cheese, whatever!

Donate Money to support our growth and sustainability!

Contact us at 847-780-READ 
or EMAIL us to get started!
New Distribution Partners
BBB is currently distributing an average of 12,500 books EVERY WEEK, and adding schools and organizations to our list of distribution partners. We now distribute books ANNUALLY to more than 35,000 children! The following have been added since September 2011:


In Chicago:

Daley Academy

By the Hand Club

The Hope Institute Academy

Drake Elementary

Chalmers Elementary

Tilton Elementary

Melody Elementary


In Round Lake Beach:

Round Lake Beach Preschool 

WJ Murphy Elementary

Indian Hill Elementary

Village Elementary 


In North Chicago:

South Elementary

North School

WIC/North Chicago

Green Bay Elementary 


In Waukegan:

Greenwood Elementary

Andrew Cooke Magnet

McCall Elementary

Washington Elementary

Hyde Park  


In Zion:

Elmwood Elementary


Christmas in Zion

Santa for the Very Poor


District 46 (Grayslake)

Lotus Elementary (Spring Grove)

Lowrie Elementary (Elgin)

ECDEC/FIND PI (Palatine)

Golfview Elementary (Carpentersville)

WIC North Shore


A complete list of distribution partners can be found on our website (click here).

BBB Videos on You Tube

Awareness = Success!

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 $25 =     150 books 
$100 =    600 books 
$250 = 1,500 books 

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RTB save the date


I am so thankful to the book donors, volunteers, investors and friends who have supported us these past two years and enabled us to collect, process and distribute one-half million books. More than 35,000 children in Chicagoland now have growing libraries in their homes, and they are so appreciative.


Now it's time to look forward to the next 500,000 books. We are currently on pace to deliver 600,000 books in 2012, and are making necessary improvements to prepare for 1 million books per year by 2013. I hope that you'll continue to support us because we need you now more than ever! Tell your friends about us, come volunteer with us, invest in our growth. While we have come a long way, we have many more miles to travel before we're serving every at-risk child in Chicagoland and America.


Brian's signature
Brian Floriani
Executive Director
Bernie's Book Bank
847-780 READ (7323)