Local group sends books to groups locally, and all over the world

Posted: 10:57 AM EST Feb 15, 2012   Updated: 10:58 AM EST Feb 15, 2012

A local non-profit group donates thousands of books to children across the world as well as to hospitals in the area. The most recent book library was established in Indonesia.

In just over two years, Judith's Reading Room has donated nearly 28,000 books worth more than $300,000 to children here in the Lehigh Valley, and to children across the world.

Judith's Reading Room was founded in 2010 to honor the memory of Judith F. Krug, who was a first cousin to the founders of the group.

Co-founders are Cathy and Scott Leiber and the organization is based in Bethlehem.

“Judith’s Reading Room is our interpretation of spreading the word of freedom through literacy, by delivering custom libraries – free of cost with the goal to enrich lives through the simple act of reading,” said Scott Leiber.

In the Indonesia project, Judith's Reading Room paired with The World is Just a Book Away, (WIJABA) which has launched projects leading to 49 physical libraries and two mobile libraries reaching 27,000 children across Indonesia with more than 50,000 local language books.

WIJABA looked to Judith's Reading Room to provide children's books in English and the Bethlehem organization came through, providing nearly 10,000 books to be divided among the 49 permanent libraries established by WIJABA.

Judith’s Reading Room promotes “Freedom Through Literature” by providing custom libraries to nonprofit organizations that serve people who, for any reason, have limited or no access to literature.

Some of the local groups that have received mobile libraries from Judith's Reading Room include: Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital's pediatric unit, Bethlehem; Da Vinci Science Center, Allentown; Old Orchard Health Care Center, Easton; Lehigh Valley Health Network's in-patient pediatric unit and children's ER, Allentown; St. Luke's Hospital KidsCare in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton; and Veterans Sanctuary in Allentown.

The organization has also established six permanent libraries--two in Afghanistan, Casa Guadalupe, Allentown; India and Indonesia, as well as one aboard the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier.

Judith's Reading Room has donated books to veterans and veterans' hospitals around the world as well as to armed forces overseas.

More than 4,000 children's books have supported US troops and their establishment of 'Operation Outreach Afghanistan,' a soldier-led organization designed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghani citizens.

The organization welcomes book donations and has 'boxing parties' to sort books and write messages to the receiving parties about who donated the books.