October 23, 2014  

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Friends of University Libraries Launching “Give a Child a New Book Day”

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Donated books will brighten a child’s day as the Friends of University Libraries at The University of Southern Mississippi launches its first “Give a Child a New Book Day.” Assisting with the campaign are Deanna Favre, 2011 Honorary Chair, and Rev. Tommy Conway, 2011 Honorary Co-Chair, president of the Friends of University Libraries and pastor at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Hattiesburg.

Book donations, collected from area businesses and organizations, will be given to the Salvation Army to distribute to children in need. The Salvation Army, servicing Forrest, Lamar, Harrison and Jackson counties, will use the new books when providing Christmas packages for families.

“Books are a gateway to a world of opportunity and provide children with limitless amounts of knowledge,” said Favre. “We recognize how reading plays an important role in obtaining academic success. Through this campaign, we look forward to spreading holiday cheer and the love of reading to children across south Mississippi.”

New, unwrapped books should be age appropriate for infantsthrough children 12 years of age. Drop-off boxes will be available at area businesses until Friday, Dec. 9. Participating businesses include The First Bank, Peoples Bank and Regions Bank locations throughout Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast, Bull’s Restaurant in Long Beach and Randy Price and Co. in Hattiesburg.

Additional locations include public libraries and elementary school libraries in Jackson and Harrison counties, Oak Grove High School and the Salvation Army offices in Biloxi and Hattiesburg.Donations will also be accepted at any Southern Miss Library in Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast.

“The ‘Give a Child a New Book Day’ is a very special and worthwhile campaign and I am delighted that the Friends of University Libraries is teaming up with the Salvation Army,” said Dr. Carole Kiehl, dean of University Libraries. “We feel a special affinity to this project due to the fact that Southern Miss is home to the celebrated de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection.” 

The Friends of University Libraries is a newly-formed group whose goal is to provide support for the research, teaching and public service mission of the university’s libraries. 

For more information in the Pine Belt area, contact Jean Wiesenburg at 601.818.7091. For more information on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, contact Pat Joachim at 228.238.8501.