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Judith's Reading Room Teams up with Fox Chase Cancer Center to Create a Literacy-Rich Environment for Patients

New custom-designed mobile library, donated by Judith's Reading Room, will help strengthen the healing process for Fox Chase patients

"Our volunteers, who have an exceptionally positive approach to the healing process, look forward to taking Judith's Reading Room books to the patients because their books strengthen that process," said Tina McDonnell, Director of Volunteer Services at Fox Chase.  (third from right)

Philadelphia (November 10, 2011) – Judith’s Reading Room, an organization that provides custom libraries to not-for-profit organizations that serve people who have limited or no access to literature, recently donated a custom-designed mobile library including 300 books valued at $6,912 to Fox Chase Cancer Center.  Fox Chase received its first donation from Judith’s reading room in May 2011 when the organization donated books on Mother’s Day and again in June for Father’s Day.

“We're very happy to be working with Judith’s Reading Room because the books they sent in honor of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day earlier this year were of such good quality and the selections were so varied and interesting,” said Tina McDonnell, Director of Volunteer Services at Fox Chase.  “Our volunteers, who have an exceptionally positive approach to the healing process, look forward to taking Judith’s Reading Room books to the patients because their books strengthen that process.”

Judith’s Reading Room was established in 2010 in memory of Judith (Judy) F. Krug, first cousin to Scott and Cathy Leiber the founders of the organization.  Judy was the director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and was a champion of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.  In 1982, during one of the nation’s periodic censorship epidemics, Judy founded Banned Books Week which was a celebration of authors, their literature and the Constitution’s protection of free speech.

Leora Hornick, Director of Judith’s Reading Room, spearheaded the donation to Fox Chase in honor of her father, Lawrence Nelson, who was treated at the Center.  “From the first visit, our family felt that Dad was in the best possible place to be dealing with his cancer treatment.  The doctors, nurse practitioner and staff in charge of his treatment at Fox Chase were great at explaining everything to us, answering all our phone calls, and making Dad comfortable and cared for every step of the way.  It was a very positive approach to a difficult situation,” says Hornick.

Including the recent donation to Fox Chase, Judith’s Reading Room has donated 17 custom mobile libraries and five permanent libraries including a total of 24,399 books valued at $263,375.  Two permanent libraries are located in Afghanistan—The Judith F. Krug Memorial Library, containing 3,000 books was dedicated in October 2010 by Brig. Gen. Ted Johnson at Camp Phoenix, Kabul, Afghanistan and the first-ever library, containing 911 children’s books, was dedicated in July, 2010 at the Mehrabudin School serving 9,000 children in Kabul.  In March 2011, a permanent Judith’s Reading Room library was dedicated on board the newest aircraft carrier, the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77), and last month, a permanent library, containing vocational books, was established at the Industrial Technical Center Mhila School near New Delhi, India.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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