The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


April 18, 2014

A big love for books

CLINTON — Sharing a love for books is something members of the Clinton Public Library have always promoted and embraced.

On Wednesday, they will join the rest of the world in spreading that love throughout communities.

World Book Night, which conveniently falls on William Shakespeare’s birthday and UNESCO’s international day of books, was first celebrated in 2011 in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The following year, the United States and Germany jumped on board, and since, the celebration has spread heavily to the rest of the world.

Heading into their third year participating in the event, the Clinton Public Library has earned a big honor this year, and library staff couldn’t be more proud of their community.

“We are the number one giver this year,” Library Director Amy Birtell said. “That means we have the most books to give out in the whole United States.”

Birtell and Adult Programming Director Holly Youngquist expect there will be 200 books distributed Wednesday because of the 41 individuals who have selected the Clinton Public Library as their distribution site.

According to Youngquist, the way it works is, someone signs up to be a book giver on the World Book Night website, selecting three of their favorite titles listed on the website’s 2014 book selection. The World Book Night organization then picks one of those favorite titles and sends that specific giver 20 paperback copies of that book.

The giver then chooses a local participating library or bookstore to receive the books and from there, will either hand them out at the library’s Wednesday event, or take them home to distribute them to reluctant or casual book readers on their own.

Whether they give the books out at the library or take them home for later doesn’t matter to Youngquist. She’s just happy that people are getting involved.

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