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 own 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.
Clubs, please use the NFRW Literacy and Education Committee’s downloadable
MELP Bookplate inside the front cover of each donated book as a way for
consumers to know where the materials came from in your library. Your
clubs reflect the generosity of Mamie Eisenhower when sharing free
To download and print the MELP Bookplate template, login and visit the Digital Resource Library.
Please share details about your donated items (ie., what, when, how many) with the NFRW Literacy and Education Committee. The committee will report on donations each January.
Additions to the MELP Recommended Book List are made annually. The committee encourages recommendations from members.
MEMBER TIP: Download past MELP Book Lists by logging in and visiting the Digital Resource Library.