Campus: CSU Humboldt -- November 28, 2005
Rebuilding a Library, Book by Book
Looking to help rebuild the Gulf Coast, some Humboldt State University students are going
to the library – specifically, the Baxterville School library in Lumberton, Miss., which was
destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
In a project they call Books Building Bridges, the students are working with North Coast
bookstores, coffee shops and elementary schools, such as Pacific Union School in Arcata, to
rebuild the collections of books and other educational resources at the
kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school. They are also seeking bulk donations from publishing
companies and monetary support.
The HSU students plan to drive to Mississippi in January, during the semester break, to deliver
the books themselves.
The project grew out of a campus brainstorming session focused on ways to respond to the
devastation of the region’s educational systems. Along with rebuilding the Baxterville School’s
library this year, the project’s goals include building HSU student interest in national
affairs and regional differences through a pen-pal program.
Already, local and HSU librarians have helped the group approach the daunting task of building
and cataloging a collection; and many local schoolchildren have donated copies of their
A list of roughly 1,500 needed books received from Baxterville includes classics such as Jules
Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”;
biographies of Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Hank Aaron, Nelson Mandela, Rin Tin Tin,
Benjamin Franklin and others; and how-to books on asking someone for help, taking care of your
hair and “How to Raise a Happy Tadpole.”
For details on Books Building Bridges, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the group’s advisor,
HSU political science lecturer Melanie Williams, at 707-826-3925 or email@example.com.
Individuals interested in helping may also attend the group’s meetings, which are held
Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center’s South Lounge.