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World Book Night a hit in Chicago Ridge

Updated: May 30, 2014 6:26AM



There is no doubt that some commuters who take the train to Chicago from Chicago Ridge enjoy reading books.

Three Chicago Ridge Public Library employees intended to hand out 125 free copies of “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell on World Book Night, which was celebrated Wednesday.

The plan was to hand out free books for commuters on three morning trains leaving town, and from four evening trains arriving in Chicago Ridge.

Those plans, however, soon went south. All 125 books were handed out to folks riding the first two trains — the 7:10 and the 7:32 — that morning, said Angeline Nalepa, head of adult services for the library.

“Some people said, ‘Oh, yeah, that’s great.’ Some were, ‘Oh, I guess.’ Some of the people who were excited said they had a commuter buddy at the next stop and requested a copy for them. We said, ‘Yeah, sure,’ ” Nalepa said. “It was almost too successful. We hadn’t done this before.”

She was joined by library director Kathy McSwain and library board Trustee Mary Jo Janik.

The goal of the giveaway was to kindle interest in the library, which is one block east of the train station. Bookmarks touting library offerings such as audio books and ebooks, popular with commuters, were handed out with the books.

“They don’t even have to come to the library to get those services. If they need help, we’ll show them,” Nalepa said.

Anyone who received the book is invited to attend a discussion of the “The Tipping Point” at the library, 10400 S. Oxford Ave., at 7 p.m. June 12. The bestseller “is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas,” according to a description of the book on amazon.com.

“Will a lot of people come? Who knows? Hopefully. But we’ll probably see a few faces (we recognized) or people who were given the books and are ready to come to the library,” Nalepa said.

World Book Night, a nonprofit, started in the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2011. It spread to the United States and Germany in 2012. According to the website, 29,000 volunteers handed out 580,000 books Wednesday.

April 23 was chosen because it is the UNESCO International Day of the Book and the birthday of William Shakespeare. Publishers pay for the books that are distributed free to libraries, and the authors agree to waive their royalties.



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