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What is MELP?
The Mamie Eisenhower Library Project (MELP) is the NFRW’s oldest program, celebrating 60 years of book donations from an approved list to schools, libraries, hospitals and other public institutions.
In 1961, the NFRW established the Mamie Eisenhower Library Project as a memorial honoring the former Republican First Lady who served for decades as a military wife and prepared the family home for over 30 moves during President Eisenhower’s military service to our country. Born in Iowa and moving to the South as a child, Mrs. Eisenhower was active in financial decisions in her home and often said that a woman’s independence was based upon her ability to save money. She practiced fiscal responsibility as a First Lady, often clipping recipes for the White House Chef to prepare using boxed cake mixes as they were cheaper than baking from scratch.
Each biennium, the NFRW Literacy and Education Committee compiles a list of books that
reflect Republican conservative beliefs of self-reliance, freedom and independence. In 1992, tapes and videos were added to the list. In 2020, DVDs and streaming services were added to the list.
These books, both adult and children’s levels, are intended to be donated to public libraries, all
schools, and hospitals to provide reading material to a wide variety of children and adults in our communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many clubs expanded to reading children’s books online through social media to a nation’s children not able to enter school buildings.
Club participation in the Mamie Eisenhower Library Project is one of the requirements for
receiving the NFRW Achievement Awards, which are given out at NFRW’s biennial convention.
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