Project collects textbooks for Afghan students

By Rosalind Essig

The textbooks students cannot sell back may seem worthless to some, but this semester those used books can be pulled out of the garbage and put into the hands of students overseas.

The Center for Community Outreach is partnering with International Book Project Inc. to organize a book drive on campus during finals week. The books students donate and private book donations will be shipped to two universities in Afghanistan.

The International Book Project Inc., a private non-profit organization based in Lexington, hopes to send about 20,000 higher-education textbooks to the American University of Afghanistan and Kabul Medical University, said Toni Greider, associate dean of the Research and Education Division at W.T. Young Library.

Donations will either go to the universities or will be sold to cover the shipping costs, said Greider, who is working with the book project at UK.

“Any number of books we’re going to get is going to be helpful,” she said. “No donation is too small.”

The American University of Afghanistan, established in 2006, and Kabul Medical University, which is going through financial problems, are trying to build their resources with up-to-date textbooks, according to a UK press release.

Carol Behr, general manager at Kennedy Bookstore, said the drive is a “win-win” situation. Otherwise Kennedy Bookstore would have to throw away the merchandise it could not sell, she said.

“It’s great — before, we didn’t have any options for the books that we couldn’t sell,” Behr said.

Students can find donation boxes for the drive in several Student Center locations: the main lobby near UK Bookstore, next to Starbucks and in the Center for Community Outreach office. Boxes are also at the entrances to White Hall Classroom Building, in the Patterson Office Tower lobby, outside room 133 in Dickey Hall, in Kennedy Bookstore and outside of the Medical Center Library.