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Frankfort Times: Baird brings Library of Congress books

Frankfort Times: Baird brings Library of Congress books

U.S. Rep. Jim Baird delivered several boxes of books from the Library of Congress during a visit to the Clinton County Boys & Girls Club on Tuesday, taking in a tour of the facilities as well.

“Our office in Washington is partnering with the Library of Congress and they have excess books,” Baird said. “We feel it's important to get those that they don't need for their programs anymore … to get those out.

“If we can get them out to places like this Boys and Girls Club of Clinton County it serves a purpose,” he added. “A lot of the missions they have at these facilities is to help build character and improve the lives of these young people.

“We think that education and exposure to books is one way to do that. So, we're very happy to have the opportunity to bring them here.”

Baird noted that the books “would be available across the country, but we've taken a specific interest in it and our people have contacted the Library of Congress to make sure that we have access to do it.

“We have people in Washington that go across to the Library of Congress and they will save those books and we can pick out what we think would be useful here.”

The Library of Congress Surplus Books Program is available to full-time tax-supported or nonprofit educational institutions, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Information on obtaining books from the Library of Congress can be found on its website at .

"The guiding principle behind the program is to build library collections -- not to raise funds for institutions or organizations," the website notes. It adds that a qualifying group must select books in person or designate an individual to do so for them.  

Baird said that he's only made a few such deliveries so far.

“I'm a freshman, so I've only been in Congress for six months or so,” he noted. “I think this is our second or third place we've been. We're going to go across this congressional district, which is 16 counties in west central Indiana. Every time we have an opportunity we're going to bring books here. We're going to do it as frequently as we can.

“This is trying to give them the equipment they need to be successful citizens.”

The books available from the Library of Congress are varied, but the Congressman advised that the likely readers were taken into consideration.

“It's the full spectrum, but we've tried to focus these on young children,” he said. “Wherever we take them we want to have books that are appropriate for that area.”

The Greencastle Republican, who won Indiana's 4th Congressional District seat in last November's general election, advised that he's becoming more comfortable in his new role after previously serving in the Indiana House of Representatives for eight years. He filled the seat that opened up after Todd Rokita vacated it to run for Senate, beating Democratic candidate Tobi Beck with 64.1 percent of the vote in November.

“We're making it. We're doing the best we can,” Baird said. “I'm going to serve on a couple of committees. We've started committee work now as opposed to when we first got there, trying to get organized and headed down the right path.

“I ended up on the agriculture committee and the science, space and technology committee. Purdue University is in the district so they do a lot of contract work in the science areas and agriculture is my background and this is an agricultural district.

“I'm excited about the opportunity and bringing about a common-sense approach that we have to Washington.”