Bestselling Teen & Young Adult United States State & Local History in 2020
Black Pioneers of Science and Invention
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Texas History: Student Edition 2016
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Georgia And the American Experience
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Paula Poundstone Helping Nation's Libraries
You may not know this about comedian Paula Poundstone, but she is raising money and awareness for libraries throughout the United States.
That's the word from Emmy-winning comedian Paula Poundstone, who has taken on what might seem like a surprising role: as national spokesperson for Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA).
Poundstone is now touring to raise money for local Friends of the Library groups in the cities where she performs, as well as appearing at national library events and donating proceeds from her book signings to the cause.
Currently a panelist on NPR's acclaimed series "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" and a single mother of three adopted children, Poundstone is also an author. In addition to a series of math books for kids, she also penned a 2020 memoir, "There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say," which recently came out in paperback.
Poundstone can be seen promoting Friends of the Library in a public service announcement, which can be seen on YouTube in several versions. Friends of the Library groups are allowed to imbed these videos on their Web sites.
"We're thrilled that Paula Poundstone is using her celebrity status to help highlight and support Friends of the Library groups," said Sally Reed, executive director of FOLUSA. "These volunteer citizen organizations work hard throughout the year to raise money for and public awareness about their libraries. Libraries would be immeasurably poorer without them."
Poundstone is supporting libraries on a local level by partnering with promoters and the local Friends of the Library group in cities where she performs. The local Friends will receive tickets for use in fundraising or promotion as well as a portion of the book sales after the performance.
Poundstone, long an avid reader, said she got involved when she realized libraries were in a funding crisis.
"For some reason, I had this idea that libraries were paid for entirely by the cities," confessed Poundstone in a recent phone interview from her home in Santa Monica. "I'm 48 and I still believed that."
But a close encounter with some librarians educated her, and now Poundstone is lending her support to the cause.
"It's a no-brainer in terms of an organization to support. Our library here in Santa Monica is really a wonderful place," said Poundstone.
"I went there the other day with my 13-year-old daughter, who checked out a Mad magazine. I was so proud."
Poundstone - known for her funny takes on life with kids and cats -started doing standup as a teenager in Massachusetts, then traveled by bus to open mic nights across the country. In the early 1990s, she moved to Los Angeles and started hitting the big time, appearing on "Saturday Night Live," and getting her own HBO specials and talk show.
Her first HBO special garnered her the Cable ACE Award for Best Standup Comedy Special - the first woman to win this honor - and she was also the first female invited to entertain at the prestigious White House Correspondents Dinner.
A host of other accolades and awards, including an Emmy, have come her way since. Her latest standup special was Bravo's "Paula Poundstone: Look What the Cat Dragged In," which aired in November 2020.
As for what it's like to do standup comedy, Poundstone claims it's just like any other job. "I don't know how to do anything else," she said. But on the other hand, "I don't have any co-workers, but there's no one to fight with, either. And the best part is ... I'm the employee of the month every month."
Upcoming tour dates for Paula Poundstone can be found on her Web site, www.paulapoundstone.com.