The gift of a good book
OSU-Tulsa community library continues to have a meaningful impact for recipients and donors alike
Refilling the ‘Stache of Books Community Library with free books for kids and young adults is a regular task for OSU-Tulsa staff, thanks to a healthy appetite for reading in the neighborhoods around campus.
Since its launch in May 2021, the literacy initiative has given away hundreds of books to Tulsa children who need something to read – but the experience of giving has also brought pride to those who have donated.
Answering the Call
Recently, an organizer responsible for donating 200 books to the ‘Stache of Books Community Library was able to visit the library in person for the first time.
The ’Stache of Books Community Library is a repurposed Tulsa World newspaper box located on the OSU-Tulsa campus near Parking Lot E. Its location near the neighboring Sunset Plaza apartments makes it easy for residents to find something new to read.
After meeting OSU-Tulsa community engagement specialist Alnetta Morris at a book fair, Dianna Preyor – an author and administrator of Authors United – put out a call for book donations.
Authors United is a collaborative organization consisting of more than 900 authors who network and send books to places in need, both in the United States and around the world.
“This is our mission – to provide books to children to increase reading literacy in the community,” Preyor said. “Literacy rates in our community are pretty low – you know, there are adults who can't even read or who struggle and have problems reading. If we start them young, I feel like it would make them want to read more later in life.”
Many of the books donated from Authors United were either from Black authors or prominently featured Black characters, which was a welcome sight for local kids and parents alike.
“When the parents saw they books they were like, ‘Oh my God, they look like us,’” said Alnetta Morris, OSU-Tulsa community engagement specialist. “It’s even put a spark within the community to donate more African American books as well.
“It makes a difference. The kids can identify with what they see in front of them.”
Every summer since 2015, Cowboy Aphasia Camp helps give language-based experience to people diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder that affects the ability to communicate. This year, the camp also offered a way for participants to give back.
A book donation to the ‘Stache of Books Community Library was organized for campers. Together, around 50 books for younger children were donated.
“Our camp is set up as a ‘life participation’ event, helping people with aphasia re-connect with things they enjoyed or did before their strokes,” said Karen Copeland, organizer of Cowboy Aphasia Camp and adjunct lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences. “Before aphasia, many were avid readers, but aphasia makes reading quite difficult. The donation was a way for campers to help young readers develop reading skills while they were at camp working to reclaim their own literacy.”
The donation was a big hit with campers, as many smiled and took photos while dropping books into the box.
The ‘Stache of Books continues to be popular among the community and donors alike, but demand increases during the summer when kids are out of school.
To donate to the ‘Stache of Books Community Library, contact Alnetta Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-594-8305.
Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 | email@example.com