Q. Who helped give out half a million free books across America on April 23rd?

A. UW-Richland literature students

On April 23, 25,000 volunteers from Berkeley to Boston and Sitka to Sarasota gave away half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across the country.

Southwest Wisconsin residents received 380 books thanks to the efforts of University of Wisconsin-Richland associate professor of English Dr. Karen McLeer and the students in her Introduction to the Short Story and the Novel course. These UW-Richland literature students and volunteer Dundee McNair, UW-Richland assistant dean for administrative and financial services, distributed the books in Richland Center, Boscobel, Dodgeville, Mineral Point, and even Whitehall.

In addition to McLeer, a resident of Cobb, and McNair, from Richland Center, student participants were:

Amanda Adams, Cuba City;
Martin Adams, Dodgeville;
Amanda Baker, Gays Mills;
Kaleb Bindl, Lone Rock;
Kiersten Bradley, Cazenovia;
Ashley Bratz, Milwaukee;
Hannah Breininger, Richland Center;
Jake Bushee, Richland Center;
Eric Cairns, Hillsboro;
Ali Dickson, La Farge;
Brooklynn Elliott, Richland Center;
Emily Johnson, Madison;
Hope Jones, Osseo;
McKenzie Koch, Readstown;
Nichelle Martin, Gays Mills;
Alex Miller, Richland Center;
Jordan Perry, Cashton;
Callie Pinkstaff, Richland Center;
Destiny Riley, Boscobel;
Andrea Sanger, Lancaster;
Dustin Skolaski, Richland Center;
Keisha Starkey, Richland Center;
Alex Statz, Arena;
Kayleigh Wedig, Walworth;
Evan Wontor, Richland Center;
Jennifer Zahn, Cashton.

McLeer said that the project was a perfect opportunity to celebrate reading. “Personally giving someone—whether a friend or stranger—the gift of a book is a random act of kindness. My students were genuinely excited to participate.”

Student Kiersten Bradley said, “As a huge book lover, I was really happy to spread the love of the written word.”

Books chosen for distribution by the UW-Richland group were Population: 485, by Michael Perry; Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett; and The Tender Bar, by J. R. Moehringer.

World Book Night U.S. is an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially printed paperbacks to light or nonreaders across America on one day. Volunteer book lovers help promote reading by going out into their communities and sharing free copies of books they love. The mission of World Book Night is to seek out those without the means or access to printed books.

World Book Night U.S. is supported by publishers, Barnes & Noble, the American Booksellers Association, the American Library Association, Ingram Content Group, FedEx, printers, and paper companies. For more information about World Book Night, visit www.WorldBookNight.org online.



Dorothy Thompson
608.647.6186, ext. 231