Each year the Brownstone Book Fund gives 100 books to libraries across the country.
This year, the Sandhills Regional Library System, which includes Leath Memorial Library, Hamlet Public Library and Kemp Memorial Library, received 100 new copies of classic children’s books like “The Rainbow Fish” and “Knut the Baby Polar Bear.”
Each library system in North Carolina received books as well. Last year Virginia was chosen for the donation.
Because the library system was given the books, they had to be divvied up.
“It’s hard to say how many books we got,” said Supervisor Adrienne Williams. “Because we share all of our material, we collectively own them, they are just spread out.”
Library card holders in Ellerbe are able to check out books from the Rockingham and Hamlet libraries through inter-library loans.
The Brownstone Book Fund was founded in 1997 by Clyde R. Brownstone, longtime owner of Gift Box Corporation of America, and his wife Diana. The number 100 has significance for the Brownstone family. According to writer Quin Halford, for many years Brownstone paid for all of the 100 horses in the New York Police Department’s mounted unit, underwriting 10 replacement mounts each year.
The Richmond County Public Library System is excited to receive these classic books because of the budget cuts from the past lean years.
“This was a surprise,” said Peggy Wilkes, who manages the children’s section. “We didn’t know we’d get this.”
Wilkes and Deborah Knight, outreach coordinator, poured over the books. They are grateful for new books.
“Like with ‘Rainbow Fish,’ we had a copy, but it was so worn. This one is brand new,” said Wilkes as she turned the glossy pages, looking at the pictures.
“Some of them are fiction, but some are non-fiction and some are easy readers,” said Knight. “There’s a little bit of everything.”
“We want to let people know that we are signing up library cards this month,” continued Knight. “We invite all the parents and children to come out and get library cards and see the new books.”
Seventy-five libraries in North Carolina received children’s books through the foundation, which is interested in fostering early reading, a love of books and encouraging parents and children to read together.
“The public library of my youth gave me an addiction to books that has enriched my life and my wish, with this collection, is to give this experience and pleasure to many other young people,” wrote Diane Brownstone, Director of the Book Fund, in a letter to libraries.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 43, or by email at email@example.com.