Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My library needs YOU!

I've recently been hired to be a school librarian at a high school At a detention center (correctional facility) for kids who are grade 7-12 age. I LOVE this job, these kids, this place. I BELIEVE in what they do. They're a private facility and not a direct link to the Dept. Of Corrections but it's the closest anagoly I can get for those who are familiar. This is a place that is non lock down AND it's a "hand off" meaning that we don't hit the kids. or use any sort of physical restraining unless there is an absolute necessity (ie- a kids hurting him/herself).

That being said, I work in the facility's school library. And we are POOR. Of course.

I've been researching grants so I can buy stuff for the library books to have a book club, and funds to sponsor an "art and lecture" series. We have a decent budget for books and supplies but there is NOTHING extra. At all.

My idea for an "art and lecture" series is to bring in guest speakers who would give a 15-20 minute program and then teach the students how to do a craft/ art project. I have a woman in town who makes jewelry. She could come in and tell her story and then show the students how to make something. I would need money to cover the cost of materials. I know of a woman who makes her skeins of wool yarn. It would be awesome for her to share the process and let the kids knit a hat. Ditto a candle maker. Ditto a soap maker. Ditto an organic gardener. These people will donate their time and sell me supplies at cost but I need money for the "cost" part.

As for book club, I want to be able to get 10 books a month so 9 kids (and me) can participate each month. I would like the students to be able to keep the books if they want- I can't even begin to explain how much would mean to some to these kids to be "given" a book. (And I have a sign up process so different kids will be able to participate monthly; I don't want it to be the same kids over and over.)

Any suggestions of where to go for money, please let me know. I know about our community foundation, local churches, and utility company foundations. I used to write grants for a living in a previous lifetime, so I know the basic drill. But I've been out of the game for awhile and it can't help to give me some ideas, please!!!!

The problem I have is that we have a development office who writes grants for stuff for the entire facility and I'm not "ALLOWED" to write to the same places. I understand, on principle. But I want a couple hundred bucks where they ask for several THOUSANDS.

Someone suggested I tap into private individuals I know who would give some money. Ummm, okay. I don't that many individuals who could give me $100 a month so I can do book club, and another $50-100 a month for art and lecture. I'm going to give that a whirl. I know I could just ask people for whatever they can give, and do it in small increments, and that's probably what I will do.

So, I'm cheating and starting here. If any readers would like to make a donation to the library for either of these projects, please let me know. I can start a paypal account, or for those of you who know me/ trust me, I'll give you my address and you can send the funds to me, made out to the school of course. And I can provide a receipt- tax deduction!

One person suggested I post the titles of the books I want to see if people would donate a copy (copies) rather than send money. That is such a brilliant idea!!!

If you want to provide the book club with a copy of any of the following please leave me a comment and I'll get you the address.

We need 10 copies of each book. Here are the first three we want to start with, for Feb.-April

Thanks in advance for donations!

The Books:
  1. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
  2. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  3. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Thanks for your support!
Maggie the Librarian

PS- In my opinion, no book club is complete without food. Since I, ironically, picked two books with food titles, I'm going to fix pie and, of course, Lemon Cake! (thank you, Jain...)