The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

From library to library, TR collects books, cash for schools

The TR library is giving back to the community one book at a time.

For the past four years, the library has sponsored an annual six-week book drive, which collects book and cash donations for I.M. Terrell Elementary and Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library.
Public services librarian Alex Potemkin coordinated the book drive and said this year’s drive, which ran from Jan. 17 through the end of February, yielded the highest number of book donations received since it began in 2009.

“This year, we got 625 donated books. Of those, 169 will go to I.M. Terrell. We were also able to raise $65.75,” he said. “We’ll get a wish list from the librarian at I.M. Terrell, and we’ll buy as much of that as we can with the money we have.”

Potemkin said lots of people would donate used books to TR, but the library couldn’t use them.
He saw this as an opportunity for the library to help out since I.M. Terrell is one of the schools TR reaches out to.

“Part of TR’s goal is service and community engagement, and the library wanted to make sure we were doing our part as well,” he said. “If people want to donate their books, let’s do something with these donations.”

TR library director Carol Everhart said the I.M. Terrell school community is considered economically depressed, and most of the students are enrolled in the federal free lunch program and may not have books in their homes. The library is the only place where many of the students can read and borrow books.

“I.M. Terrell has a pretty limited book budget, so they may not be able to buy all of the books that they would like to,” she said. “We’re able to provide the library with books that the students can enjoy and to encourage reading in children.”

I.M. Terrell librarian Brenda Reynolds said with federal government cutbacks, programs like Reading Is Fundamental, which provides students with three books to take home during the year, may no longer be available. The book drive donations help ensure that the children have books to build their own libraries at home, she said.

“It helps add books to our collection. As far as the kids, they have books to take home and students could possibly be taking home five or six books,” she said.

The book drive allows students to pick out books they like and add those to their permanent collection, Reynolds said. Children can always have something to read and put reading strategies into practice if they have books at home.

“When you can pick something that you want and you like, you’re more apt to read it and enjoy it, and to read it over and over again,” she said.

“Reading is very important, not just for school but for everyday life.”

Potemkin said whatever doesn’t go to I.M. Terrell will go to the Fort Worth Public Library and Friends of the Public Library bookstore.

“Public libraries can’t raise money so support groups, like Friends of the Library, raise money on behalf of the Fort Worth Library,” he said.

Everhart said getting children engaged in reading at an early age is important, and TR is helping I.M. Terrell to reach that goal.

“We’re putting books in children’s hands for them to develop and nurture a love of reading,” she said.

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