In October 2007, a group of Harvard College students proposed a novel way to commemorate the 400th anniversary of John Harvard’s birth — donate books.
Their initial idea developed into the John Harvard Book Project, which ran from November through February and raised funds from students, faculty, and staff with the goal of purchasing books for local schools.
The project was initiated by Harvard College student Adam Goldenberg ’08, chairman of the Harvard College Events Board (HCE), who wanted to find a way to honor John Harvard and give something back to the community at the same time.
“What better way to celebrate the College’s original benefactor than to donate books to the libraries of public schools in Boston and Cambridge,” said Goldenberg.
In collaboration with the Office of Community Affairs, the students were able to organize the project and purchase more than 400 books.
The books were selected by the schools’ librarians and focused primarily on science as that was the area in which the librarians expressed the greatest need.
Last week marked the end of the John Harvard Book Project, and the books were distributed to 11 schools in Cambridge, as well as Allston’s Thomas Gardner School and the Honan-Allston branch of the Boston Public Library. Harvard College students were on hand at the Morse School in Cambridge and the Honan-Allston Library to present the books and spend some time with the young students.
— Joshua Poupore