Did you know that books can help win wars?

At least, that is what Northfield citizens thought 100 years ago, when their country was deeply involved in World War I. The Northfield News urged its readers to “Let Your Idle Books Help Our Soldiers.”

There were book collection points at the Northfield Public Library and other libraries in Rice County.

Even the Boy Scouts helped the cause – they “did their bit” to collect books from the community by driving around Northfield in a car with a large banner on it. According to their scrapbook from the time, the boys collected almost 1,300 volumes on March 23, 1918. This scrapbook has many other great photographs of the Boy Scouts activities during this period, including Liberty Loan parades and more.

During wartime, there are many ways to contribute to the war effort. Books – and knowledge – may have been just what they needed to win.