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Books for Biloxi
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Columbia College Criminal Justice Student Association's book drive has generated more than 9,000 books to help rebuild the public and school district libraries in Biloxi, Miss., destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. To date, the group has received more than 5,000 books for adults and nearly 4,000 books for children.

Dr. Joe Carrier, assistant professor of criminal justice administration, says the group chose the book drive because it was a different way for students and people in the community to help people affected by the hurricane. "Many people have extra books on hand," he said.

Carrier and the students are grateful for the broad support the book drive has received from both the college and the Columbia, Mo., communities. They received donations of books from the Friends of the Columbia Public Library and the Columbia College Relay for Life book sale. Barnes & Noble, Curves Fitness Center and three Jimmy John's sandwich shops placed collection boxes in their locations. In addition, the group held a book drive in September in the Columbia College south parking lot. MBS Textbook Exchange provided more than 400 boxes to pack the books for shipping.

Carrier said the group is currently packing the books for shipment. "We are looking for a shipping vendor willing to donate the freight cost," Carrier said. "If that is not possible, we may drive the books to Biloxi during Thanksgiving break."