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The University of Alabama

UA Library School Awards Free Books to Schools

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies will award more than $11,500 in free books to elementary, middle- and high-school libraries in the Black Belt region of the state this month via the SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt Program.

School librarians in the Black Belt region were asked to apply for the book giveaway program in mid-November. SLIS chose eight school libraries from 22 total applicants to receive more than $1,000 each in new children’s and young adult books. The judging of the applications was rigorous, as every school exemplified a significant need. The eight winning schools for 2013 were:

  • Barbour County High School, serving grades 10-12 (Barbour County)
  • Carver Elementary & Arts Magnet School, serving grades K-5 (Montgomery County)
  • Carver Middle School, serving grades 4-8 (Greene County)
  • Dallas County High School, serving grades 9-12 (Dallas County)
  • Gordo High School, serving grades 7-12 (Pickens County)
  • J.E. Terry Elementary School, serving grades K-8 (Dallas County)
  • McKenzie School, serving grades PreK-12 (Butler County)
  • Marengo High School, serving grades K-12 (Marengo County)

Established in 2009 by Dr. Jamie Naidoo, the Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor for SLIS, the SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt is an annual program that provides free new books to school libraries in the Black Belt region each December.

This year the Book Bonanza for the Black Belt has awarded the most books to date,” Naidoo said. “I believe the need for Black Belt Schools to receive new books is greater now than ever. Each year the applications outline dire circumstances where many of our children are being left behind because their school libraries have not received funding for several years. The applications describe children and teens hungry for knowledge and escape that books afford. Unfortunately, several of the schools that applied have nonfiction books with an average copyright date of 1980 and many others have books that, as one librarian stated, are being held together ‘only by tape and prayers.'”

Schools in the Black Belt region of the state are encouraged to apply again next year for a chance to receive free books for their school libraries during the next SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt Program. For additional information about the program, contact Dr. Jamie C. Naidoo at or SLIS at 205/348-4610.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.