Book Drive To Replace Lost Library Books

WILKES-BARRE — A popular bookstore is doing what it can to help a Catholic school in Luzerne County replace all the books lost when its library burned.

Barnes and Noble is holding a book drive all week to collect donations for St. Nicholas /St. Mary’s School and you can help.

Fire ruined every book inside the St. Nicholas/ St. Mary’s school library in Wilkes-Barre in May. They all had to be thrown out. It was heartbreaking to many people at the school.

“Especially when you’re a book lover, it’s hard to see. when I looked in that library I thought ‘Oh, my gosh, can’t believe it,” said Sr. Mary Catherine Slattery, principal.

Now the effort to replace the hundreds of books has begun. A display is up at Barnes and Noble in Wilkes-Barre Township.  When workers there heard about the fire, they decided to help with a book drive this week.

“When she called me that morning, my heart leapt up in my throat.  Libraries, of course, are special to us.  I just felt terrible and for her to lose everything in their library, I feel their pain,” said Donna Wench, Barnes and Noble.

It’s really easy to help out.  All you have to do is choose a book, take it to the cash register and say you’re donating it to the school.  Not only is the school getting the book, but Barnes and Noble is donating 20 percent of the cost to the school so it can buy more books.

“It’s a perfect partnership, this means everything to us.  We’re book people and we want to help as much as we can.  It’s a small way, but it’s a way we can help,” Wench added.

Investigators say a faulty electrical outlet started the fire.  Fortunately, the library is in a building separate from the school, so the damage was confined there.

“It was a complete loss in the library, so we have no books.  There were a few students who said they hadn’t returned their books yet so we have one or two,” Sr. Slattery laughed.

Now shoppers at Barnes and Noble can help add to that.  The store has some suggested titles, but any quality children’s book can be donated.

“People are going to choose what they like.  That’s a wonderful thing, that’s sharing a book with a child and that’s really important.” Wench said.

The book drive for St. Nicholas /St. Mary’s School runs through Saturday at Barnes and Noble in Wilkes-Barre Township.

Right now, the school is only accepting these new books.

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