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Lincoln libraries join forces to promote reading, collect books for kids

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Two Lincoln libraries are teaming up to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s love of reading with a unique read-a-thon and book drive on his birthday.

Special guests read stories for children in person and online Feb. 12. Meanwhile, the audience can donate new books for students who participate in Compass for Kids’ after school program.

The Feb. 12 event was sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Lincoln Library, the city of Springfield’s public library. Since the two organizations are working together, the event is called the Lincolns4Lincoln Read-a- Thon and Book Drive.

The read-a-thon took place at the Lincoln Presidential Museum (212 N. Sixth Street) from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission to the museum was free that day in honor of Lincoln’s 213th birthday, so anyone can come hear the stories at no cost.

The read-a-thon will also air live on the ALPLM’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

People who watch the read- a-thon, whether in person or online, are encouraged to donate a new children’s book if they can. Anyone who believes in the power of

reading to help children can donate, too.

Donations are already being accepted. In Springfield, they can be dropped off at the Lincoln Presidential Museum, the Lincoln Public Library (326 S. 7th Street) and Barnes & Noble (3111 S Veterans Pkwy). Barnes & Noble also has a selection of children’s books chosen by Compass for Kids that customers can buy, or they may donate Barnes & Noble gift cards that will be used to purchase books for the students of Compass for Kids.

People enjoying the read- a-thon online can donate electronic Barnes & Noble gift cards simply by visiting

“I can’t think of a better way to say ‘happy birthday’ to Abraham Lincoln than by giving a book to a child,” said Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “Reading changed Lincoln’s life and it can change the lives of children today.”

No president is more associated with reading and self-improvement than Abraham Lincoln, who had virtually no formal education but still became a lawyer, legislator and masterful

writer. Countless paintings and illustrations show Lincoln reading by firelight or looking through a book while doing his chores.

“We are thrilled to be working together to promote reading and to get books in the hands of kids as a way of honoring Lincoln’s legacy,” said Summer Beck-Griffith, public engagement manager for Lincoln Library. “Reading changes lives. That’s what libraries are all about.”

Founded in 2011, Compass for Kids was the first program in Springfield formed specifically for homeless children to remove the barriers they face in participating in after-school and summer programs. Today, Compass for Kids operates three distinct programs that assist underserved children in Springfield’s District 186.

Springfield’s Lincoln Library has roots stretching back to 1856. Today, it lends more than 400,000 physical items and 900,000 digital items to its patrons each year and offers hundreds of special programs. It is also home to the Sangamon Valley Collection of rare books, photographs and documents related to the history of Sangamon County

and 11 adjacent counties. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in Lincoln’s life and times. The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of

Illinois history.
For more information,

visit www.PresidentLincoln. or follow the ALPLM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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