A long with food and consumer goods, residents of the former Soviet Bloc crave information from the outside world -- especially books. The Institute for Humane Studies, a classical liberal academic foundation, based at George Mason University, has launched a campaign to ship at least $1 million worth of market-oriented books to private book stores in Eastern and Central Europe.

Donations from publishers and bulk purchases have permitted IHS to obtain the books at 15 to 30 percent of the retail cost. The first shipment of books, valued at about $l00,000, went to Poland in early November. (For further information, contact Tom Palmer, Institute for Humane Studies, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030. 703-323- 1055.)