Posted by Amy Schlumpf Manion on April 29, 2013
On Tuesday, April 23, approximately 25,000 volunteers in 6,000 towns nationwide distributed half a million books in honor of World Book Night. Aurora University librarians Elizabeth Nicholson and Amy Schlumpf Manion were among them.
Held on Shakespeareâ€™s (and Cervantesâ€™) birthday, World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading and community-based literacy outreach. It began in the United Kingdom in 2010 and in the United States in 2012. Potential â€śgiversâ€ť fill out an application stating where and to whom they plan to distribute free books. They also choose which book they would like to give away from a list of 32. If selected, publishers and other sponsors cover the costs of the books so that each â€śgiverâ€ť receives 20 free copies for distribution.
Manion recruited five AU students to accompany her to Hesed House, a local homeless shelter, to distribute the childrenâ€™s classic â€śThe Phantom Tollboothâ€ť to kids in the Harvesting Hope Program, a program that provides homeless children shelter, food and activities. Unfortunately, an evening of reading aloud, games and craft projects, cookie decorating, and thank you note writing had to be cancelled due to flooding at Hesed House after heavy rains.
â€śI dropped off the box of books at Hesed House that night, but was disappointed that our students were not able to meet with the kids and do the fun things that were planned,â€ť said Manion. “And of course, I was saddened that such a valuable community resource experienced flooding. I hope the kids there got the cheering up that books can give.â€ť
Elizabeth Nicholson distributed â€śThe House on Mango Streetâ€ť by Sandra Cisneros to Aurora University students in the Dunham Hall atrium. â€śMy books were gone in a manner of minutes,â€ť said Nicholson. â€śStudents were pleasantly surprised and thrilled to receive a free copy of a popular book.â€ť
To learn more about World Book Night, visit www.us.worldbooknight.org.