A Special Invitation for Libraries


We believe that local libraries are important assets to all communities, whether they are large or small.  In an effort to support libraries wherever possible, we offer to bring a Birth of Coffee presentation to your library community as a special fundraising event.

Our offer is to come to your library, at no cost, to conduct a one-hour presentation based on The Birth of Coffee.  The presentation, accompanied by visuals, will focus on our work as a husband and wife documentary team and tales of our travels around the world in search of coffee – which culminated in the publication of the book by Random House and an International Photographic Exhibition Tour that is currently appearing at museums throughout the United States. 

In addition, we will discuss the fascinating topic of coffee – its social and historical significance in our culture and daily lives. Our audiences are also often keenly interested in the process of publishing and we can discuss the way we organized the manuscript and eventually landed an advance and a publishing agreement with the largest publisher in the world. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session and a book signing. Based upon the number of books sold, a substantial percentage of the profit will go to a fund chosen by the library.

Typically, such presentations are hosted by library staff or Friends of the Library. We ask only that whoever hosts takes the responsibility for providing:

  • appropriate publicity to get people to attend the event
  • a suitable room with an LCD projector for projecting the visuals
  • and a table for a book signing after the presentation.

It is also enormously helpful if the library has someone on hand to take responsibility for handling the money for books sales, as it is difficult for the two of us to interact with guests, sign books and handle financials at the same time. We will collect the money and checks from the library staff or representative at the end of the presentation and write a check to the library before the end of the evening.

The terms of our involvement are the same for every library. They are based on our experiences with such presentations in the past and developed to motivate the local library in getting library patrons to attend the fundraising event.  Libraries often make it a free but ticketed or RSVP event. Ultimately, the more people who attend and purchase books – the more the library makes from the books that are sold. The book retails for $45.  We sell it for $40, and the library or affiliated organization makes a money based on the number sold.

For example, if 1-5 books are sold, the authors keep all of the proceeds to offset travel expenses. This almost never happens if the library does it's job and gets people to come to the event. If 5-12 books are sold, the library receives $5 for each one sold. If more than 12 books are sold, the library receives $10 for each book sold. At a recent small-town library event that garnered 40 attendees, 14 people purchased books which earned $140 for the local library. That cash contribution was in addition to a free stimulating one-hour presentation, and the lively question, answer and dialogue that followed. 

Because of project schedules and other geographic constraints, obviously we cannot make this offer to every library – but we are more than happy to make such a presentation should logistics and travel schedules allow.  If you are reading this, you may have been directed by us to this page to learn more about The Birth of Coffee and we encourage you to explore the links above. They will give you important information about the project, the book and the authors.  The About Us page contains bios and a photograph you can download and use. The Project and The Book pages give information you can use to write a promotional piece for library patrons or the press. The rest of the web site has other information that may be of use to you, including the preface of the book and book reviews.

A few other considerations: As a courtesy to our audiences if any other organization or company will be making a presentation of any length before, during or after our presentation we ask that you obtain our approval. Also if you decide to ask a local coffee establishment to donate and.or serve coffee we wouldl like to approve that company.

If you have questions or inquiries about the program, please contact us at 512 585-0011.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Read what other libraries are saying!

We'd like to thank you for traveling to Helena to present a most interesting and wonderful program. All who attended enjoyed the program immensely. Here is hoping that other Montana communities will have the same opportunity. If you are ever in need of a testimonial, please don't hesitate to call on me. I'm sure our paths will cross again. Thanks for supporting libraries such as ours.

Judy Hart, Director of the Lewis and Clark Library, Helena, Montana

On behalf of the Austin Public Library I'd like to thank you for bringing your wonderful book and stories to the citizens of Austin. Your book and program "The Birth of Coffee" attracted over 50 people to our Austin History Center. The evening was perfect, the audience was engaged in your presentation and they probably could have had a discussion for another hour. Since adding copies of your book to our collection it's been continuously checked out by our customers—this is a true testament to the beauty and content of "The Birth of Coffee".

Again, many thanks for bringing such a high quality program to Austin Public Library

Patricia Fraga, Marketing Manager, Austin Public Library

Thank you very much for taking the time to visit the San Antonio Public Library and share your experiences with our patrons. Your use of stories and visuals were a great hit. Our patrons were very appreciative and thoroughly enjoyed your program. Thanks again and take care.


                       Amanda Koenig, Reference Librarian, San Antonio Public Library