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Pictured, from left, are PKP President-Elect Jodi Pospeschil; Phi Kappa Phi President Katharine Pawelko; Infant and Preschool Center Director Sherri Moon and COEHS Interim Dean Katrina Daytner.
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Pictured, from left, are Joann Hurt, of PACT Head Start; Phi Kappa Phi President Katharine Pawelko; PKP President-Elect Jodi Pospeschil and PKP Vice President Krista Skien.
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WIU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Places Little Free Libraries Won By Student Book Drives

November 14, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – This week, the Western Illinois University chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi delivered two Little Free Libraries, won by student-led book drives, to local childcare centers.

Representatives of Phi Kappa Phi delivered one library to the WIU Infant and Preschool Center in Horrabin Hall Monday and one to the PACT Head Start on University Drive Wednesday afternoon. The Little Free Library is a free-standing box where anyone can donate or borrow books in an effort to promote literacy in the community.

For the last three years in a row, the student vice presidents of Phi Kappa Phi have conducted a campus-wide book drive that brought in thousands of books. Each of those years the students were one of the national winners of the book drive competition and were awarded a Little Free Library. In 2017, the Little Free Library was donated to Edison School in Macomb.

The 2019 drive brought in nearly 3,500 books through donation boxes across campus. Some of the collected children's books were delivered with the Little Free Libraries, and the remainder of the books were delivered to local schools, agencies and organizations.

"Student Vice-Presidents of PKP collected thousands of books through their Spring 2018 and 2019 book drives on campus and earned two Little Free Lending Libraries from PKP National Headquarters as a result of the successful book campaign," said Phi Kappa Phi President Professor Emerita Katharine Pawelko. "Supporting literacy in the community via readily accessible reading materials is a major initiative for the WIU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi."

Katrina Daytner, interim dean of the College of Education and Human services, said she was proud to partner with Phi Kappa Phi to place one of the libraries inside Horrabin Hall for use by children and their parents and WIU students.

"Having a lending library located near the WIU Infant and Preschool Center further promotes the Center's emphasis on promoting literacy development in young children," said Daytner. "We are excited that our parents and education majors will have access to this great resource."

WIU senior psychology major Paula Ramirez helped lead the most recent book drive.

"As a student vice president for Phi Kappa Phi, I am honored to have collaborated with faculty members and our community to bring about our successful book drive," she said. "I know that the Little Free Libraries will be of great value to organizations in our area and will help spread Phi Kappa Phi's message of life-long learning, service and leadership."

The national book drive competition, held between Feb. 1-April 30, saw participation from 18 Phi Kappa Phi chapters across the nation, with a total of more than 10,000 donated books and $461 in monetary donations. Established in 2014, Phi Kappa Phi created the event as a way to promote literacy in the communities and campuses served by its chapters.

Phi Kappa Phi's annual book drive competition has donated more than 55,000 books to organizations both locally and abroad since its creation. Organizations that have received donated books as part of the competition include schools, libraries, hospitals, correctional centers, tutoring and mentoring programs, shelters and more.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Earlier this spring, the WIU chapter initiated more than 65 high-achieving WIU students.

To learn more about Phi Kappa Phi, visit

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