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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peace Corp Volunteer who Started A Library for African Children Remembered

Sharon Brown served as a peace corp volunteer and started the first library in an Ugandan village.   Tragically she died about 2 years ago.  Her family has memorialized her through the endowment of a literary prize at Miller Place High School on Long Island, where she was a student, and where the family lives.  After the Peace Corp Sharon remained in Africa and served as the librarian at the International School of Kenya.


I had the pleasure of meeting her brother today at the shop when he was purchasing copies of The Great Gatsby.   

It was Sharon's favorite book, and she would read it every summer.  He recalled a typical summer scene finding him singing from the roof of the family house,  Alice Cooper's -- "Schools Out Forever,"  while Sharon would be sitting quietly with one of many books that she planned on reading that summer.

In addition to the scholarship that the family endows, they also provide a copy of The Great Gatsby.

Sharon was a customer of Barner Books.   She stopped at the shop frequently and would bring home bags of books at the end of the school year.  She planned on reading them over the summer.  

We are honored that Sharon's brother saw our shop as being a place of importance in her life.  He made the trip today in her memory to purchase copies of The Great Gatsby.  I am sure that there are plenty of copies of "The Great Gatsby" on Long Island (after all the story is set there), but he wanted those copies to come from here.

Sharon and her young child died in a tragic accident in her beloved Africa.  Her legacy of love, care, and service, will be beautifully memorialized through the family's gift.

Her brother stopped here, and shared this story.   We are deeply touched to have been a part of Sharon's wonderful literary and beautiful life.  The Great Gatsby will be forever changed in my mind now that I know about Sharon and her family.



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