Magazine article American Libraries

Girl Collects 9,000 Books for Destroyed School Library

Magazine article American Libraries

Girl Collects 9,000 Books for Destroyed School Library

Article excerpt

There will be a school library for the children of Mulhall, Oklahoma, this fall after all, even though a tornado razed their town's elementary school on May 3. That's because an enterprising 4th-grader from Columbia, Maryland, launched a book drive that netted some 9,000 books, and arranged for their mid-August delivery to the Orlando-Mulhall School. The facility, located seven miles from the twister-devastated town, is serving as an elementary and high school for the two towns until a new elementary school can be built in Mulhall.

"I couldn't stand to be without my books. What are they going to do?" Kirstin Shipp reacted after viewing the CNN story about the disaster, which featured then-school librarian Kathy Bell standing in front of the decimated media center. Her mother, Roberta Shipp, told American Libraries Kirstin decided that very night to hold a book drive, reasoning that "everyone else" would send food and clothes.

Getting permission the next morning from the principal of her school, Kirstin placed the first collection box inside Clarksville Elementary, where donations began coming in two days after the tornado struck. She soon expanded the effort by placing boxes in local grocery stores and a church, as well as posting flyers about the drive throughout the community. After the family garage was filled with books, Kirstin called a storage company, which agreed to rent a unit for half price.

Munificent mover

Roberta told AL that the night she helped her daughter develop the idea, she asked Kirstin, "What do you think the hardest part will be? …

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