Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

Since this is the birthday of Jane Austen, I thought we could celebrate the day with an update on the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation and their Christmas Campaign. This is the best way I can think of to honor a most loved author. If you still have gifts to buy and cannot think of something for that special friend on your list, please consider donating to the foundation and gifting a bookplate in your friend's name. That way, you are giving twice and what a wonderful gift that is! Below is more information, sent to me by Caroline Jane Knight, on this excellent campaign.

We are registered not for profit organisation run by volunteers with no wages or commissions paid to anyone.  You can be confident that donations made to Jane Austen Literacy Foundation appeals are used to buy books and writing materials for communities in need.  For example, we buy ‘School in a Box’ literacy kits to be used in temporary schools set up by UNICEF in Syria.  We also buy books for disadvantaged remote indigenous children in Australia to support the fantastic literacy programs of the ALNF (Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation).

As you know, we give every donor their very own bookplate personalised with their name in Jane’s own handwriting.  Bookplates were popular in Jane’s time and are used to label books with the owners name so they didn’t get lost when lent out or read by others.  We have a news article on our website that talks all about the bookplates that Jane (and I) knew from our family library), see

Here's a picture of the bookplate! 


We have recently completed some development on our website so the donor can now specify what name goes on the bookplate so they can now be given to other people as gifts.  The bookplates are produced every few days and are emailed in pdf with the donation receipt to the donor for themselves or for them to email or print and give to their friend.

We would like people to give twice this Christmas, i.e. donate to give a child in need the gift of literacy and get a bookplate as a gift for a friend.    We are calling the campaign #LabelYourLibrary as this is what bookplates do and it’s a call to action.  We will be watching the feed for the hashtag and will feature on the foundation facebook feed any great photos people post of their bookplate posted in a book.   We are also using #GiftOfLiteracy when promoting the giving message.
We are doing a series of posts and communications throughout December, some focused on donating to help a child in need with the bookplate as a bonus, others promoting the bookplate as the perfect gift.   But, it is a large community and we need help in promoting the campaign and raising money for literacy this Christmas.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Warmest regards

Caroline Jane Knight
Founder and Chair
The Jane Austen Literacy Foundation


Isn't this a fantastic way to give a gift this Christmas to someone you know and to someone you do not know! Helping children in need learn to read and write is such a worthy endeavor. Wouldn't it be a blessing to see their sweet faces as they begin to live their dream. Won't you consider a donation to the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation to help those children become confident readers and creative writers. Help them broaden their worlds by broadening their minds. 

Please join me and my granddaughter by donating in honor of Jane. You can get a bookplate for yourself, your friend and/or a family member. What better way to celebrate Jane's birthday than by giving the gift of reading. So many of us owe Jane Austen so much for the impact that she has made on our lives and in our lives. Let's help others discover the wonders of the world of Jane Austen and her novels. Below are the links to donating to receive a bookplate or give a bookplate. Be a part of the #LabelYour Library Christmas Campaign.

On the website of the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation, there is a fascinating article, Jane Austen and Bookplates written by Caroline Jane Knight. She tells about the bookplates in the books that Jane Austen would have read. These are the books enjoyed for many generations by members of the Austen and Knight families and many are housed in the Chawton House Library today. I loved seeing the various bookplates and learning more about their design. Thanks for such an interesting article, Ms. Knight.


  1. That's a great idea! Thanks, Janet!

    Happy Birthday, Jane, indeed!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Sophia. I always appreciate your thoughts on each post.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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