There’s been some trouble at the library.
OK, this library isn’t a lending library, it’s a giving library.
Books for Troops promotes literacy by giving reading materials to soldiers, veterans and their families. It ships them to far-off places and delivers them to local nursing homes.
But, it has run into a bit of a problem, according to Patricia Murphy, the organization’s executive director.
Lately, it hasn’t been able to fulfill all of the requests it has been receiving for science fiction titles. And, it’s not the first time it has encountered such a shortage.
So, if there are any readers out there who would like to help out, the organization is in particular need of books by Terry Brooks; the books that Game of Thrones are based on by George R. R. Martin; and, the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
Most of the requests that Books for Troops receives come from Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan, but the organization ships reading materials around the world, and tries to fulfill the requests it receives, Murphy said, via email.
Besides shipping books overseas, it delivers locally to:
- James A. Haley Veterans Hospital
- Tampa Vets Center
- VA Mental Health Outpatient Clinic
- MacDill Air Force Base
- C. W. Bill Young Veterans Hospital at Bay Pines
- USO Welcome Center at Tampa International
Books for Troops began in May 2010, when Murphy was delivering magazines to the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa.
While there, Murphy was approached by a young man in a wheelchair, who was had lost his leg in the war. He was about 20.
He told her the magazines helped him “keep my mind off everything.”
As they were chatting, he told Murphy he wished he had had an outlet, like reading, while deployed.
He wasn’t living on base when he was deployed. He was living in a tent, on the outskirts of a small village in Iraq.
The exchange moved Murphy so much that, as she stepped into the elevator, she burst into tears, she recounts.
When she got home, she decided to help meet that need, and that was the beginning of Books for Troops.
Since then, more than 30,000 books have been shipped to troops around the world, and more than 2,000 books have been delivered locally.
Anyone who would like to help is invited to donate books that are in good condition — in the kind of shape you’d want a book to be in if you received it as a gift.
The books can be dropped off, during business hours, to Simply Self Storage, 22831 Preakness Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes, behind Sonic.
For more information, go to BooksForTroops.org.
Published July 20, 2016