Back LOA members enrich school libraries nationwide

Special membership benefit provides for book donation to a school of choice

Students in the AP Literature class at Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, California.

Thanks to the generous support of Library of America members, donated sets of LOA volumes are enhancing the collections of school libraries across the country.

Library of America members play a crucial role in support of the organization’s nonprofit mission and educational initiatives. The top two tiers of membership provide for the donation of volumes in the member’s name to a school, library, or educational program. At the Literary Champion level, a member is recognized with a donation of fifty volumes; at the Literary Sponsor level, one hundred volumes.

For many members, the book-donation benefit offers an opportunity to make a second gift with great personal meaning.

Student at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Literary Sponsor J. Porter Durham directed his donated volumes to the library at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I’ve been an LOA member for a long time and was a trustee of JCSU for many years,” Durham explained, “so this seemed like a natural fit for a great collection. But libraries of liberal arts colleges everywhere are in need of works of the caliber of those produced by Library of America.”

From the Fontbonne University Library staff: Daytime Services Manager Mark Glenshaw, University Librarian Dr. Sharon McCaslin, Technical Services & Metadata Librarian Julie Portman, and student worker Michael Brennan, class of 2020.
Brian Abel Ragen.

Brian Abel Ragen used his Literary Champion membership to donate volumes to Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri, where a large number of students are the first in their families to attend college. Giving those students access to hardcover editions of definitive texts was important to Ragen, who said, “I am delighted to have this opportunity to make the Library of America’s volumes more widely available and to help build the library at Fontbonne University.”

Literary Champion Steven Ferguson wished to donate LOA volumes to an American Indian school or library. The books given in his name will enhance the library collection at Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, Washington.

Reba and Dave Williams. (Don Pollard)

Reba and Dave Williams, members at the Literary Sponsor level, chose to donate volumes to six high schools in Beaufort, South Carolina, where they spend part of every year and feel a deep connection to the community.

Member-supported book donations may be directed to variety of institutions, such as an alma mater, a hometown library, a local underserved community center, or a family member’s school. Library of America staff can also suggest recipient institutions.

To learn more about these doubly philanthropic tiers of LOA membership, visit or, if you are a current member and would like to upgrade to one of these tiers, visit

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From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

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