When Colleen Nixon mentioned a way to receive free books and distribute them to the community, Clinton Public Library Director Amy Birtell jumped at the chance.

Together, along with multiple volunteers and “givers,” the duo helped the city of Clinton on Monday join thousands of towns and cities across the country to participate in the first World Book Night in the U.S. The event provided one free book to participants.

“This is huge that Clinton considered giving a book to children passionate about books,” Nixon said. “I would like to see this grow every year.”

More than 100 people attended the event held outside the Clinton Public Library. The library attained approximately 300 books from “givers,” who were given free books to distribute to area residents.

“Hunger Games” became the most coveted book nationwide and in Clinton. Because of its popularity, only 20 of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels were available for Clinton’s distribution.

Twenty minutes into the event, all the copies had already been handed out.

“We had people waiting for the 6 p.m. time,” said Birtell, who manned one of the booths during the two-hour event. “‘The Hunger Games’ was definitely a hot one.”

Some of the other titles included “The Things They Carried,” “Little Bee” and “The Poisonwood Bible,” which Nixon referenced as her favorite book available.

Staff members at the library and Clinton School District teamed up to alert students about the unique opportunity to receive a free book.

Ultimately, Birtell would like to start up book discussions based on the books dispersed.


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