Today our Repair the World Fellows, Rachel and Beth, will answer the question, “What goes into opening a new library?” As the newest members of the WePAC team, they bring fresh eyes and a unique perspective to the wonderful work that our volunteers do every day. 

As two new WePAC volunteers we have learned that there is so much behind the scenes work that goes into the opening of a new school library. The majority of the books in the libraries come from donations to WePAC. We were surprised to find that WePAC often creates libraries from scratch, and that many of the school libraries had been closed for many years, some even multiple decades.

We found that the Huey Library was no exception. To prepare for the new library opening at Huey School this January, we had to clear off the library shelves (which were being used as storage space for class copies of books), sort through books, help pack up and then transport hundreds of books from the WePAC office to the school. Once the books made it to Huey, they had to be catalogued, furniture moved, clean the library and much more.

This is the bare minimum of work that must be done in order to open the doors to a functional library space. There are even more opportunities to make the space inviting and engaging to students, and, more importantly, a place they are excited to visit each week.

Beth Holtzman RTW Philly

Beth Holtzman, Repair the World

Rachel Wallace, RTW Fellow

Rachel Wallace, Repair the World Fellow

Rachel and Beth are WePAC Library volunteers at the Huey School and Fellows with Repair the World who have committed to an entire year of service in their community, developing partnerships with local organizations doing great work and rallying local volunteers to help them do even more. Contact them at rachel.wallace@werepair.org or beth.holtzman@werepair.org.