A University of Southern Mississippi faculty member recently acted as a liaison with a national organization aiding youth in her native Baton Rouge who lost vital educational resources in the August floods that devastated southeastern Louisiana.
Working with the Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA), an official American Library Association (ALA) student group, USM School of Librarian and Information Science Associate Professor Dr. Stacy Creel helped manage a book drive to aid schools in the affected area. The drive benefited from the generosity of librarians and ordinary citizens across Mississippi and beyond.
Dr. Creel, a native of Baton Rouge and who attended school in the East Baton Rouge School District worked with her sister on the effort, Dr. Belinda Davis—an associate professor in political science at Louisiana State University who is active in the EBR school district, where her children attend. Dr. Davis is also a founding member and the president of One Community One School District, a local education advocacy group in Baton Rouge.
The books were delivered to the LSU campus to Dr. Belinda Davis Oct. 14 when Dr. Creel and her family went to attend the Southern Miss-LSU game. Dr. Davis arranged transportation of the books to their final destination.
“Studies tell us that school libraries and certified school librarians make a difference. We anticipate these books going into school libraries and classroom libraries,” Dr. Creel said.
The book drive was an easy fit for the LISSA and ALA “since librarians value education, reading, and literacy, and schools are uniquely positioned to impact youth in these areas,” said Dr. Creel. With donations from Hattiesburg and across the state, library communities via SLIS and the Mississippi Library Association, more than 20 boxes of books were collected in just three weeks.
“Mississippi has made great strides in the area of literacy and our call for donations was met far and wide,” Dr. Creel said. “I’m grateful and awed by the response. We received books from as far away as Madison County and Gulfport as well as many local donations from schools, the Council on Community Literacy and Reading, Southern Miss faculty members and the student group USM-Hattiesburg Elementary Major Student Association.”
To learn about Dr. Creel’s research and work at USM, visit https://www.usm.edu/library-information-science/faculty/dr-stacy-creel.