‘Open Book Room’ offers free books to Big Country readers

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Every summer, Global Samaritan opens its Reading Room to the public on Wednesdays for people to read, buy, return books and volunteer.

ABILENE, Texas — Each summer, the Global Samaritan Resources Open Book Room opens its doors to provide free books to read, return, save and share to anyone in the great country.

Parents, children and people of all ages are encouraged to come to the Open Book Room to improve their literacy and facilitate access to books.

“Our family loves to read. We have many children and it is important to surround them with books. In today’s era, everyone wants to be on their phone and on their computer, and it’s always a battle to pull them off. But the more they are surrounded, the more thirsty they are and the more they know. And if you can find books that interest them, that’s why I’m looking for books right now. So it will be a win,” said Abilene parent Chrys Mundy.

Pewresearch.org reported that about a quarter of American adults (23%) say they have not read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio.

In 2021, more than 6,000 free books went home with readers who visited the open book room. The program aims to increase the number of people who read in their daily lives and to make it easier to find a book they will enjoy.

Lisa Murphy recently retired as a teacher in Abilene, but volunteers at the Open Book Room. She said she dedicates every summer to investing in literacy in the community.

“My husband happens to work here and told me about the room. I have just retired, so I decided to come and devote some time to setting it up and organizing it. So it looks like a library and all, but the books are free. You can take them and keep them. Share them any way you want,” Murphy said.

To help keep the Book Room open each summer, Atoms Energy donated $7,500 to Global Samaritan Resources to invest in education and literacy for the Abilene community.

“We power our safe and thriving communities programs to ensure that every child is fed, every child has the opportunity to read and they have everything they need for their summer programs. We are therefore happy to be part of it. Thank you all for giving us the opportunity to do this,” said Shaun Martin, Public Affairs Manager, Atmos Energy.

Hours of operation for 2022 are 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays from June 1 to August 10. You can find the Open Book Room at 2074 N. 1st St. in Abilene.

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