New Orleans Public Library
First Book's Gulf Coast Initiative
5 Millionth Book Celebration
August 21, 2007
Even more photos from the event can be found here

Following Hurricane Katrina, First Book, a national organization that distributes books to those in need, developed the Gulf Coast Initiative to place 5 million books in libraries and institutions and into the hands of people across the Gulf Coast. On August 21st we celebrated the acquisition of the 5 millionth book distributed through this program at the Main Library in New Orleans. Individuals from Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana were on hand to recognize the milestone. Members of the Soul Rebels brass band welcomed all to the New Orleans Public Library for this special event.

Minature muffaletta's, New Orleans pastries, and juicy fruits were provided by Food Art.

Sixty students from Martin Behrman Elementary School in New Orleans attended the program.

Students enjoy the program and special guests.

Linda Marshall Hill, Supervisor, Main Public Services, New Orleans Public Library, (at podium) welcomed all to the event, as well as Linda Lancaster of First Book, who moderated the program.

Rebecca Hamilton, Louisiana State Librarian, reminded the audience of the importance of libraries.

United States Deputy Secretary of Education Raymond Simon reminded the audience of the importance of education in our communities.

Following the program, students were partnered into Reading Circles throughout the library. Here Kit Lunney of First Book prepares young readers for an Olivia story.

Bearemy Bear of Build A Bear helped share the story of Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Each student that attended the program received a canvas bag of books containing copies of books like Olivia and Clifford the Big Red Dog. Books were donated to First Book specifically for this program from Scholastic Books.

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