Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2001

School board looking to ‘adopt’ books

June 14, 2001

Empty shelves at Eudora elementary schools may soon fill with books "adopted" by community members.

The school board approved the Adopt-a-Book program that would use donations to add books to school children's reading options.

"When students come to the library, this is what they see," Nottingham and Eudora West elementary schools librarian Christine Stein said as she displayed a photograph of half-empty shelves to the board. She also mentioned studies that show successful kids have access to good libraries.

"That's a pretty sad sight you're showing," Kenneth Massey, school board member, said. "We have a library in the (Douglas County) jail that's second to none. Those books have impacted inmates' lives; I can't imagine students' lives."

The program begins by purchasing books with seed money from the Parent-Teacher Organization and local businesses. Library supporters then pay $20 to adopt a book of their choice. Left-over money from the book's purchase replenishes the program's cost and provides more seed money.

Stein would like to have books available for adoption when school begins in August.

Having a set program will be better than receiving books chosen by donors, Stein said.

"I'm going to be getting books that our library needs, not just people going to the store and getting whatever," she said.

The library will place nameplates in each book to recognize the donor. Stein also mentioned the possibility of recognition in the newspaper as well as appreciation signs in windows for the donors.

"I heard of other libraries doing it," Stein said. "It's easily adopted to any library. It's not a set program."

Board President Marion Johnson suggested careful recording of transactions.

"If we're taking funds from the public, we need to make sure everything is clear," he said.

Stein assured the board that students benefit, even if the program doesn't work out as planned.

She also emphasized the fact that her intention wasn't to make the district look bad but to get more books for her school children.

"I feel that the worst that could happen is that if people didn't participate in the program, we'd still have new books."

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