"Gift of Literacy" Provided by MLS Students at East Carolina University

After the October 2016 hurricane that struck North Carolina, MLS Students at East Carolina University provided the "Gift of Literacy" to affected schools and libraries.

North Carolinians faced significant challenges in 2016 stemming from a Category 5 hurricane to wild fires. Many students enrolled in East Carolina University’s MLS program were personally impacted, as were their neighbors, schools, and libraries. For these reasons, the program’s ALA Student Chapter’s annual Holiday Book Drive was even more motivated to bring “the gift of literacy” to communities in dire need. This annual tradition has placed over 25,000 books in the hands of well-deserving readers in North Carolina and other locales, but with the recent tragedies ECU MLS students focused on shoring up libraries that were especially hard hit, and donated 1512 books. 

Pam Alwran donated 239 new and used books to Devonshire Elementary School in Charlotte, NC.   Devonshire is a Title l school with 94 percent poverty.  In turn, students at Devonshire Elementary donated 85 books to Princeville, NC, Elementary—a school in the eastern part of the state that suffered tremendous flooding that ruined the entire school library.  According to Matthew Mayo, the Edgecombe County district’s Media & Technology Director, Princeville’s library loss was especially unfortunate as it had one of the stronger collections in the district - it had flooded in 1999, and been rebuilt since then.

Picture books donated to elementary school.

Picture books donated to elementary school.

Pictured are books donated to Princeville Elementary from students at Devonshire Elementary.

In addition, ECU’s MLS faculty donated 321 new and slightly used books to Princeville Elementary in Princeville, NC. About 80 of these books were purchased by MLS and other faculty in the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions in lieu of Holiday presents; the remaining were donated by the Friends of Sheppard Memorial Library, Greenville, NC.

Michelle Osborne, the ECU ALA student chapter president, donated 50 books to West Lumberton Elementary School – a school located in the hardest hit southeastern part of North Carolina that resulted in loss of water and power for weeks.  

Sonya Pierce, Media Specialist at Weldon High School in Weldon, NC, donated 800 books to the Town of Weldon Library.

Warren Sturlaugson, ECU student, donated 17 books to Bismarck Library located in Bismarck, North Dakota.


Michelle Osborne, ALA Student Chapter President, East Carolina University
Osbornemi15@students.ecu.edu; michelle.osborne@gastongov.com