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BellaOnline's Library Sciences Editor

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Books for Soldiers

Guest Author - Paula Laurita

Do you have books that need a good home? Pass them on to soldiers serving around the world.

Often when we finish with book sales, librarians will have books left over. I mean good books, not falling apart, poorly written books. Other times librarians will find a book that just doesn't meet their collection needs. It may have been ordered for a middle school library, but is more appropriate to an adult audience. Sometimes patrons will want to donate paperbacks that don't hold up to library circulation. What do we do with those books? What can we suggest to our patrons?

Books For Soldiers

There is now a site that can help. Books For Soldiers.com, is designed to get books into the hands of soldiers in the field and in VA hospitals. Storm Williams, the founder of Books For Soldiers explains:

During the first Gulf War, several of my friends from school were in the reserves and were activated to fight the Iraqis. CNN reported that once the soldiers were deployed, they were faced with massive downtime and were restricted to their base due to the travel limitations set by the Saudi government.

I am a voracious reader and at the beginning of the Gulf War, I had a closet full of paperback books. Books that were not being used. So instead of selling them at the used book store, I packed them up in small care packages and sent them out to all the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen I had addresses for.

Within a few weeks, I ran out of books before I ran out of addresses. Friends and family members began donating their paperback books and in the end, over 1000 books were sent to the Gulf.

How do you participate? Go to the BFS site and read all the details. As much as possible BFS tries to help match reading materials you have with soldiers' requests. Then share what you sent with the board. This helps spread "the wealth" by preventing multiple copies of books being sent to the same person.

Browse the list and then match a soldier's request with the books you have waiting for a good home.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Paula Laurita. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Paula Laurita. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Christine Sharbrough for details.

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