Students at Schmitt Elementary school have been celebrating since the reopening of their school library at the end of January. The previous school library closed in May of 2015 due to budget cuts. The school could no longer support a full-time librarian so books were packed away and the library shut down, leaving students without an easy way to bring reading home.
Luckily, parent volunteers at Schmitt have been working tirelessly to reopen the library even in the face of some difficult obstacles. First, they had to find a suitable space as the previous library space had already been repurposed. After they worked with their Principal, Mr. Tang, to find a space, they needed to locate shelves for the books. Parent volunteers literally did the heavy lifting as they moved the shelves in a cargo van and assembled them in the new library. They then took to unpacking and organizing the library’s collection of books from the boxes that have been stored in since 2015.
After months of hard work, the library officially reopened January 18, 2018. The library will be run entirely by volunteers as there is still not a budget to hire a librarian.
“There are no words to describe the feelings I had when students were rushing in the door the day we opened the library, and their excitement when they learned they can come to the library every day during recess!” said parent volunteer and leader of the effort to reopen the library, Jeannie Nelson.
"The library serves many objectives: it gives student a quiet safe place to study, read, and of course check out books. Now that our student have access to books we can start to focus on delivering our message about the importance of reading every day," Nelson said. If you are interested in volunteering at the library, please contact parent organizer, Ivana for more information.