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Author gives the gift of literature

Barbara Ellen Brink is a Rosemount resident and a fiction writer. Over the past 15 years, she has self-published a number of books including her Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, which she recently donated to a library damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

East Coast libraries were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. As they continue to put to back the pieces, reassembling collections has been challenging.

When Rosemount author Barbara Ellen Brink learned of a group of authors who were donating their books to help damaged libraries rebuild, she jumped at the opportunity to help.

"It was a great opportunity to give," said Brink of participating in the Indie Authors for Hurricane Sandy Libraries.

After going through the vetting process, Brink was able to donate her young adult series, The Amish Bloodsuckers Trilogy, that includes the books Chosen, Shunned and Reckoning. The books will go to a library who has requested young adult books in Connecticut, New Jersey or New York.

Authors from all over the world have donated their books. The effort was started by author K.S. Brooks, who is an East Coast native. While she now lives in Washington, Brooks wanted to do something to help.

"This is a great opportunity to connect libraries in need to authors willing to donate books. We work closely with the library systems to make certain they receive the genres they want," said Brooks.

While a wide variety of books are needed, public relations volunteer Karen Pierce Gonzalez said there is a vetting process to ensure that books donated are quality and meet the needs of the libraries. So far more than 1,000 books have been shipped to libraries.

"It's wonderful because it's responding to the needs of the library," said Pierce Gonzalez of the program.

Brink, who has been writing for 15 years, learned about the effort on Facebook. She contacted Brooks to see if she could help. Brink said she saw the opportunity as a way she could do something helpful with her books. In addition to donating the books, Brink also absorbed all the cost to ship the books.

"We're happy to have Barbara Ellen Brink as part of our effort," said Brooks.

While the libraries will still have to replace much of their collections, Pierce Gonzalez said the program ensures that libraries can offer the public something to read in the meantime. And who knows? They might find a new favorite author.

For more information about Authors for Hurricane Sandy visit Authors interested in providing books should join the group's Facebook group and follow the instructions that are provided on the page.

For more information about Barbara Ellen Brink visit her website at

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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