DIY Project: BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS The Final Post

I am both happy and sad to report that the DIY project assigned by my APEL class is finally coming to an end. And as all ends require, I need to explain how my project went. So my faithful readers who were expecting another one of my strange posts, please wait for next week. This week is a post on how my DIY Project went overall.

The Project (The Idea and the Goal)
I have mentioned that I originally had multiple ideas planned out and had to choose one. In the end I chose the idea that I believed had an element from all the other project options I came up with. As a result, the DIY Project that I began to work on was to set up a donation box for books and donate those books to public libraries. The original goal was to successfully raise a large amount of children books, since those books are likely to be made to last and are the ones both parents and teens are willing to give away (Parents and teens most likely NO LONGER READ children books, so its easier to donate). As a result there would be plenty of new or clean books for the library to put onto shelves or to give to kids who don’t have books at home to read.


The Project Plan
As with all great and successful projects or ideas, they start with a plan. Can be either a good plan or a bad plan, but in this case it was a simple plan. The first thing I had to do was to obtain permission to have the box for donations allowed in our school library. I originally thought I had to take it all the way to the principals office for permission, but decided to go with asking the librarian. I would then go and create the donation box and set it up. Every week, books would be collected and by the end of the project, all the books would be donated at once.

ideaFM plan

The Project Result
The result of the project is actually on the fence I believe. For the donation box, in the beginning it wasn’t much of a success. 2 months went by with only 3 books, and at first I had no idea what was wrong with it. My teacher, Mr. Theriault finally recommended me to donate some books of my own first. You know…to make it seems like others were donating too (make a fake trend). Thankfully after that was done, books began coming in more frequently and in higher numbers. At the end, the donation box became a good success and all thanks to my brilliant AP English teacher, Mr. Theriault.


Then came the donating portion of the books. The librarian I originally talked to said that me donating books to them was something they would gladly accept, but that was pretty early in the school year. As a result, the time for me to actually bring a lot of the books in, they could only take half and put it into the shelves. One reason was the condition of some of the books and the other reason is because the excess of some of the books (like Harry Potter). As a result, they recommended that some of the books would be placed into the library store, where they will be sold for 1 dollar or less. I accepted this solution, since this way children don’t have to return books to the library and actual purchase their own books at a much lower price at which it would be bought at a bookstore like Barnes and Noble. (Here is a picture of where the books will be going)

Fountain valley library book store

Success or Failure?
So in the end…I would honestly say that the project was a success. I succeed in creating a decorative donation box. My project received permission from the school library to set up the donation box and received free advertisement by the librarian who checked books out. The donation box receive many donated books, most of which were children books (the sought after object). And finally the library was able to use some of the books I obtained from the project. Sure, some of the books were placed in the store but it also helped with the original goal, donating books for children to be able to read and enjoy. The store made the books much cheaper and the children could actually keep the books instead of just borrowing them for a few day and having to return it later. This way, the children can actually keep the books and have books to read anytime they wanted. I believe my project worked out in the end.

P.S. Sadly the librarians did not feel comfortable with me taking pictures of them taking the books or having regular people checking books out due to privacy issues and possibly sue for not getting permission, so I could not take many pictures. Thankfully they allowed me to take pictures of the library store.


Steps for a path to Success in obtaining boxes of books

My innovation project, while started pretty slow, seems to be doing well currently. In fact I might be combining my efforts with a fellow student, Casey Cho, to provide material for his project as well. But since this project I was doing was AMAZING~…to me anyway… I decided to tell you guys the steps I took to make my project. … OK FINE my teacher wants us to explain the steps we took for our project so far =__= But I am taking the effort to tell you so listen up!

The start of a complex project and an effort to complete it on time always starts with a schedule or at least a written plan. In this case, Mr.Theriault gave the class (including me) a chance to plan our innovation project ahead of time on a ideaFM powerpoint. Of course this was the barest plan and not very accurate due to it just being deadlines to follow.
ideaFM plan

While I was able to set deadlines for myself, I still needed a way to get books donated to me. I needed a way where people can just donate it with me standing there looking like a creeper and waiting, so I began drawing out diagrams and possible options. Eventually I came up with a donation box, with a lid that can be opened to retrieve books from. Here is the sketch I made early on. A little messy yes but gets the job done.

Once I finished with the easiest part of the process, I had to move on to the next step…gathering materials. Normally this shouldn’t be that hard, getting a box large enough for some books and a flap to cover the top. The thing is, I wanted it so that the flap would be able to fit snuggly into the top of the box, have it easy to open the flap, and still leave enough space to just slide books in(I’m fickle like that-leave me alone). My success in finding the perfect box and cover took me longer than I expected…way too long. Even then, the flap I am using doesn’t cover the top of the box entirely, leaving a small slip. I plan on just using it as a way for people to slip their books in without having to open the flap. Luckily I have crayons, markers, and pens/pencils at home so I had that covered.

I would like to say I was on a roll and started my project the second I got the materials…but then I would be lying. It took me a bit of time, but eventually I was motivated enough to start wrapping the box what white poster paper. The reason for this was I wanted the box to be perfectly white, allowing me to easily start drawing and decorating without previous pictures or logos to hinder me. The process took lots of glue dots…it was annoying and slow but eventually I was able to finally place the white construction paper on and it looked clean.

Step 4: Drawing a Master Piece
Finally I began to draw, and at first I didn’t know what to draw. It took me a few minutes, but since my project was based on books and children, I decided to draw books. Naturally since I am a guy, the first few sketches on the box was…horrifying to say the least. After half an hour of work, I finally drew what seemed like cute books (in my mind anyways).

Step 5: Coloring the Cartoon
My last step in decorating the box that I have put much effort into making was coloring. In order to make it stand out, I decided to make most of the words different but bright colors. Hopefully it will draw attention to the words and get the message across… that I WANT SOME DONATED BOOKS PEOPLE~! In the picture the box isn’t fully colored but I that is due to me trying to decide what is the best colors to continue with. I don’t want this box to look like a kindergartener went wild with color without knowing what color matches with what.

What I plan on doing next now is completing the beautiful cartoons I made, and finally setting it on its way. Hopefully I get more books besides the ones already donated to me (THANKS COUSIN AND FRIENDS WHO ARE READING THIS THAT DONATED BOOKS) and letting Casey include it in his book exchange innovation idea. I might still give some to schools or libraries that but I already gave some.
If you guys are more interested in the progress of my innovation project or want to know more about where the box will be located, it will be posted on this blog as soon as it is out. In addition if you have any tips or ideas you would like to share please comment.

And finally for those who are doing a project that requires similar work to mine, please make sure you have most of the material before hand (not looking around like me) and start on it a bit at least when you gather all the materials. Boxes can be found in Costco easily and can be bought at office stores so its a good idea to look around for the best one.