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UW-Eau Claire Bookstore and Golden Key partner with Better World Books

RELEASED: Dec. 11, 2009

Books For Africa logoEAU CLAIRE — Many of the world's underdeveloped countries are experiencing a book famine that Better World Books hopes to end with the help of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Between now and Dec. 18, Golden Key International Honour Society and the Barnes and Noble University Bookstore will conduct a campus textbook drive to benefit Better World Books and their partner, Books For Africa.

Organizers will collect used college-level books in green and white collection bins that will be located at the Davies Center entrances by the Service Center and the bookstore on lower campus, and by the University Recreation office in Hilltop on upper campus.

Faculty or departments that want to schedule textbook pick-up by Golden Key members should contact adviser Paula Stuettgen at 715-836-4803 or stuettpj@uwec.edu.

Books collected are shipped to communities in Latin America and Africa or sold online to raise a sustainable stream of funding. In the three years since the partnership with Books For Africa began, Better World Books has raised more than $900,000 in unrestricted funding for BFA and provided more than 425,000 used textbooks for direct shipment to the African continent, making the for-profit social venture BFA's largest source of funding and its largest source of used college textbooks.

"In many African villages, seven children share one book," said Patrick Plonski, executive director of Books For Africa. "Some village schools own no books whatsoever. By increasing African literacy, we decrease African poverty. Every book donated by a student or a bookstore puts us that much closer to ending the African book famine."

Last year, UW-Eau Claire's Golden Key book drive was ranked 22nd out of 700 participating campuses nationwide.

"The re-purposing and recycling of used textbooks is Golden Key's way of supporting international literacy and campus ecological sustainability at the same time," Stuettgen said.

Books For Africa is the largest shipper of donated textbooks to the African continent. Founded in 1988, the St. Paul-based organization has delivered more than 20 million books to 45 African countries. Books For Africa works in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development to improve education and nutrition simultaneously throughout Africa. For details, see www.booksforafrica.org or www.betterworldbooks.com.

For more information on the UW-Eau Claire textbook drive, contact Paula Stuettgen at 715-836-4803 or stuettpj@uwec.edu, student Audrey Mohr at mohrar@uwec.edu, or Heather Lee at the University Bookstore at 715-836-2172 or slickha@uwec.edu.

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RD/JB

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