Area residents and the Prendergast Library have combined efforts to share the gift of reading.
Throughout the nation, volunteers in 5,000 towns and cities will distribute copies of specially printed books on the inaugural World Book Night U.S., which will take place Monday. The night's organizers asked volunteers to promote reading by handing out copies of a book they enjoy to new or light readers.
Locally, 13 people chose to participate, selecting Prendergast Library as their pickup location. They picked from a list of World Book Night selections, agreeing to distribute copies of one title each to the community.
Judy Shaffer opens a box of specially printed World Book Night editions of “Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” The books will be distributed in various Erie-2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES classes.
P-J photos by Scott Shelters
Helen Powers visited Prendergast Library to pick up 2012 World Book Night editions of "Peace Like a River." Powers learned of the night through a readers' website. On Monday, she'll distribute "Peace Like a River" at St. Susan Center and to other area organizations.
"It's a very well-written book," Powers said. "I thought people in the community would like it."
Judy Shaffer selected "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." Shaffer, adult community education coordinator for Erie-2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, received an email from World Book Night organizers asking her to participate. "Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" just felt like the correct selection for the organization.
"We are very excited about that," Shaffer said. "We've heard some good reviews on it. We think with our diverse population throughout Chautauqua County that it will be a natural fit for our adult basic education classes, as well as our GED and possibly some of our (English as a second language) classes. We're hoping this will get them hooked on reading and get them coming to the library."
Nationally, World Book Night organizers hope volunteers will distribute 500,000 free books Monday. Locally, Prendergast Library employees were happy to help. The library served as the intermediary for the event's organizers and givers. The local participants stopped into the library to pick up their copies throughout the week, and World Book Night and its sponsors provided the funding.
"It seemed like a good role for the library," said Anne Plyler, special projects librarian. "I think we would definitely like to do it again. Books are really at the heart of the library's mission. We're very interested in promoting books themselves and getting people to read them. People enjoy reading and benefit from reading."
Other local World Book Night selections include "The Stand," "Because of Winn Dixie," "Ender's Game," "Glass Castle," "Little Bee," "Lovely Bones," "My Sister's Keeper," "The Things They Carried" and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."
Plyler praised the local volunteers.
"We enjoyed meeting our givers," she said. "Some of them we knew, but some of them we didn't know. We're proud of their enthusiasm to go out and give away these books."
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