Librarian Launches Book Collection for Cancer Patients

Published 01/14 2014 01:22PM

Updated 01/14 2014 10:54PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) One school librarian, who is surrounded by books all day, is now collecting books.  And she'll be donating them to a good cause.

The library at Humboldt Elementary School is Stephanie Grable's library, and she shares her love of reading with her students.

"So much today, people are on iPads, Kindles, and all that technology," Mrs. Grable said.  "It's kind of nice to just quietly open a book and escape for a while."

But after a visit to her mother-in-law at Heartland Hospital's Cancer Center, she had a new idea.

"I noticed on my way out in the waiting room, people were going through books," Mrs. Grable said.  "There were only like 12 books and they were well worn.  I also saw two people kind of sigh and give up.  I thought that night when I was home that they need something to do out there especially for people who don't bring their own stuff."

In a statement, a spokesperson from the Cancer Center said:

"At the present time we have one small book cart with approximately 200 books available for patients to select books from.  The vast majority of these books are very worn and tattered.  Many of our patients will bring in books and place on the cart and then take books from the cart to read.  It is totally an honor system.  We do not check them in and out to the patients.
Depending on the patient's care plan, the length of their chemotherapy varies from a single shot all the way up to 6 hours of continuous chemo drips.  Patients are free to bring what they want to do during their extended time in the chemo chair.  We have TVs for all the chairs, some patients read, some just want to sleep and relax, some work on hobbies they enjoy."

And the books are already coming in. Mrs. Grable has already received more than 200 books.

She's enlisted the help of librarians at a number of St. Joseph schools. Those libraries will also collect these books.

So far here are the participating schools:

·    Humboldt
·    Edison
·    Parkway
·    Lindbergh
·    Coleman
·    Noyes
·    Ellison
·    Hyde
·    Hall
·    Pickett
·    Pershing
·    Robidoux
·    Lafayette

And she'll donate those books to the Cancer Center in February.

"[The Cancer Center] is a very quiet and a very calming place," Mrs. Grable said.  I can't think of anywhere better to just sit quietly and read, especially when you bring your kids to visit family members.  The kids need something quiet to do as well so we'll be taking children's books too, so they don't disturb other people going through treatment."

Mrs. Grable says she doesn't have a target number of books in mind, but she's just glad that anybody in the community will step up and help this cause.

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