The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, together with The Heart of America Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on providing children with the tools for improved literacy, today launched a community-wide Book Drive which runs through March 15. New books collected will be placed in school libraries being renovated as part of the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project. Today’s Book Drive launch was held at one of those schools, The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School.

Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises, Baltimore City Public Schools Chief Academic Officer, were the featured speakers for today’s event which marks Read Across America Day, the start of Read Across Maryland month. Lieutenant Governor Brown also took part in brief tour of the school, including reading to one class.

Gently used books also will be gladly accepted and will be given to Baltimore Reads. Those unable to contribute books directly can support the Book Drive by donating through a link on the homepage of the Library Project website. Last year’s inaugural Book Drive collected 13,000 books, valued at roughly $75,000. This past September, the Weinberg Library Project also celebrated the openings of three renovated school libraries, the first of 12 that will be included in the Project through 2015.

For more information on the Library Project Book Drive, as well as the Library Project itself, please visit and follow on Twitter at #libraryproject.