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August 10, 2016


Every month, TAB editor Kristin will be sharing her thoughts on five titles from our… Read More

June 1, 2016

#PattersonPledge of the Week: Alexander Adaire Elementary School

Earlier this year, bestselling author James Patterson pledged to give $1.75 million in grants to school libraries nationwide—matched by Bonus Points from Scholastic Reading Club! Winning schools have been presented with a phenomenal opportunity to improve their libraries and bring the joy of reading to more members of their school community. We reached out to librarians from winning schools to learn more about their libraries, schools, and plans for the grant money. Today we’re talking with Tuesday Chalmers, parent volunteer and recent graduate of Drexel’s Library Science program, from Alexander Adaire Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA. 


 What will your grant be used for?

Adaire Elementary School wrote the majority of the grant for new books, especially biographies and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) materials. A small portion of the grant will be used to purchase an automated system for easier access and inventory.

How long has this project been on your wish list?

The library renewal project started back in the beginning of September 2014. The library hasn’t been used in over a decade. Many members of the school community really pushed for a library transformation. We noticed that half the shelves were empty and most books were not up to date and falling apart. Unfortunately, we didn’t even have a current biography of the president or the last three presidents.

Will the students in your school have input on the grant’s execution? Will they help choose books for the library?

Students were involved in the book selection process. Informally, I asked them the following questions: “Who do you see as a good role model in today’s society?” and “Which people are you interested in reading about?” I also asked the students and parents to create a list of their favorite children’s and young adult fiction books that they would recommend.

How important are school libraries in our communities?

School libraries (and libraries in general) are essential to communities. I think that the world has to first change the perception that libraries are places that house books. This could not be further from the truth. Libraries should be the hub of communities and reflect the needs of their community. I believe that libraries provide a safe haven for children and adults to learn and connect. Let’s not forget the Keith Curry Lance studies, which suggest that students perform better on standardized testing when they have a fully functioning library. With the constant change of information, it is vital for students to have a space that encourages reading, curiosity in world topics, and problem-solving skills.

What was your favorite childhood school library moment? 

When I was a child, my elementary school did not have a school library. However, I loved to go to the public library with my dad and sister on weekends. I looked forward to reading new books and spending time with my family.

What is your proudest moment as a librarian?

My proudest library moments come when a kid shouts, “I love this place!,” or, “This book is awesome!” I know that shouting in the library is frowned upon, but it really makes my day.


In the coming weeks, look for stories from winning schools about their libraries and plans for the grant money. 



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August 24, 2015