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"When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II" by Molly Guptill Manning will be reviewed by Karyle Butcher, retired Oregon State University librarian, at noon Wednesday at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library as part of the Random Review program.

The little-known “Armed Services Editions” series of books was a critical morale-booster to many servicemen during World War II. Manning’s excellent account of how America printed and shipped 140 million books to its troops tells of the struggles to obtain, print, and ship these editions to the soldiers who would voraciously read them.

Reading the books gave the service members a respite from the daily horrors they were experiencing and many of them were so moved they went on to establish a correspondence with the authors. For some, the books were their first introduction to literature of any kind and inspired their enrollment in higher education after the war.

Karyle Butcher spent 14 years as university librarian at OSU’s Valley Library and three years as director of the OSU Press. She was named Oregon’s “Librarian of the Year” in 1998 and won the OSU Woman of Achievement Award in 1999, and was the recipient of the 2010 D. Curtis Mumford Faculty Service Award. Since retirement, Karyle has been active in city affairs — she serves on the city's Budget Commission, has chaired the Arts and Culture Advisory Board as well as chairing the League of Women Voters Housing Committee.

Up next: This is the final program of the season. Random Review will return in September.

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