On Wednesday free books will be distributed throughout Northwest Georgia in celebration of World Book Night. The books are distributed by book lovers called “Givers” who choose favorite titles to share in the hopes of spreading their love of reading.
World Book Night is an annual celebration that is observed every year on April 23, which is both William Shakespeare’s birthday and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s International Day of the Book. The program was created in 2011 by a nonprofit organization in London, England, and quickly became an international project.
This year, Dalton State’s Roberts Library has joined more than 2,300 bookstores and libraries nationwide as a host for World Book Night.
“This is the first year Roberts Library applied to be a host, and I am so excited that we were chosen,” says Lydia Knight, director of Roberts Library.
“World Book Night is entirely volunteer-driven and depends on them for success,” says Ms. Knight. “While authors and publishers cover the costs of the free books, the Givers are the ones who share the love of reading in their communities by giving away copies of the free books.”
Each year, program volunteers from across the globe receive free copies of books that have been selected by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. Givers come from all walks of life: educators, social workers, parents, students, local business people, librarians, and many others.
Dr. Sharon Hixon, interim dean of the School of Education and associate professor of Education, and Dr. Jacquelyn Mesco, temporary assistant professor of Education at Dalton State College, volunteered to be Givers; they will distribute free new books at the Mack Gaston Community Center on April 23.
“As a reading teacher, the thought of being able to give books to students that they can keep is very exciting,” says Dr. Mesco. “Many children in the community are dependent on the local and school library and have very few books to call their own.”
Dr. Hixon was also drawn to World Book Night by her desire to share her love of reading with children and so requested that a children’s book be added to the list of WBN titles for this year.
“I wanted to be a Giver because I cannot imagine a house without books,” says Dr. Hixon. “I requested one of my favorite books that I used to use when I taught fifth grade, ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ by Katherine Paterson.”
Apart from Dr. Hixon and Dr. Jacquelyn Mesco, this year’s Givers from Northwest Georgia include Lydia Knight, distributing “Same Difference,” a graphic novel by Derek Kirk Kim, to the Game Room of Dalton State’s Pope Student Center; Dr. Eugene Mesco, distributing “Presumed Innocent” by Scott Turow to his neuroscience class at Dalton State; Dr. Jenny Crisp, distributing “Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin to her adult education class at Dalton State; Dr. Sandra Stone distributing “Presumed Innocent” in the Pope Student Center at Dalton State; and Regina Ray, distributing “100 Best Loved Poems,” a compilation of works by famous authors, in downtown Ringgold.
Book Givers also include Kirsten Grant, distributing “Hoot” by Carl Hiaasen; Christina Eason, distributing “Presumed Innocent” by Scott Turow; Daisy Gomez, distributing “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs; Julie Butler, distributing “Miss Darcy Falls in Love” by Sharon Lathan; Jeanette Chavez, distributing “The Raven’s Warrior” by Vincent Pratchett; Kenjia Bradshaw, distributing “Bridge to Terabithia” to Bellwood Elementary School in Calhoun; Alesha Daves Stiles, distributing “Enchanted” by Alethea Kantis to her special needs class; and Curtis Hitchens, distributing “Pontoon” by Garrison Keillor to his elementary school class.
Cynthia Allgood will give away copies of “After the Funeral” by Agatha Christie; Victoria Caylor, will distribute “When I Was Puerto Rican” by Esmeralda Santiago to Dalton government housing; Vicki Crane, distributing “100 Best Loved Poems;” Haley Rangel, will distribute “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbotsky; and Joy Frerichs will distribute “Presumed Innocent” by Scott Turow at the Chatsworth Chamber of Commerce.
For Dalton State student Kirsten Grant, World Book Night is an opportunity for community service.
“The impact on our community could be huge,” says Ms. Grant. “I just really like the idea of being able to help someone read, because reading opens up so many doors.”
Givers received their 20 free copies of the book they signed up to distribute to members of the community at a reception at Roberts Library on April 16.