VENTURA : Library Sends Books to Schools in China

Duplicate and outdated books from a Ventura library are going to China to replace books burned two decades ago in China’s Cultural Revolution.

The library at the Ventura campus of Cal State Northridge is packing its third shipment of books destined for some of the 1,070 universities in China. One in five Chinese students studies English.

“With the information explosion it’s more and more difficult to know what to do with the books” to be discarded, said Joyce Kennedy, Ventura campus director. She said she is “honored to share them with our colleagues across the sea.”

The California chapter of the American Assn. of University Women organized a statewide book drive for China, requesting materials mainly in the humanities and social sciences.

The Ventura campus’s latest shipment contains about 400 books, most of them duplicates of volumes already in the library. “We get books from Northridge campus and from retiring faculty,” said Kennedy, who said that one shipment included an entire set of donated encyclopedias.


The used books are shipped to San Francisco, with a Rotary Club in Ventura paying the costs. From there, the Bridge to China Foundation, a branch of American Friends of China, arranges ocean passage for the books.

“Before we began sending books to China we went to every library in the county and asked if they wanted the books. We tried correctional institutions too,” Kennedy said.