What have we been up to at WePAC? We have been weeding books, cataloging books, organizing books, purchasing new books, meeting with volunteer team leaders, recruiting new volunteers, visiting libraries, talking with principals and school staff – all in an effort to get about half of the 19 libraries we manage ready to restart library programming at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year.
Many of the 19 libraries we support need significant reorganization and clean up as a result of the pandemic-related school closures. With only two employees and one AmeriCorps VISTA fellow, we can’t do it all by ourselves! It definitely takes a village to do this work – from Episcopal Academy’s stellar student service groups to our long-time, invaluable partners, Penn Libraries Community Engagement, to our dedicated library volunteers, we are grateful for all the support everyone continues to provide as we meet the challenges to our library programming created by the pandemic.
We are also grateful to our school partners for their PATIENCE with us as we methodically make our way through our roster of libraries to work on getting each one ready to re-launch. We have lost about half of our 100 library volunteers due to pandemic-related safety concerns. We need to rebuild the teams at most of the libraries. So, if you know anyone who would like to volunteer in one of our libraries, please direct them to the volunteer registration form! As the pandemic persists, we work with the schools to help guard the health and safety of students and our volunteers alike.
We are SO looking forward to getting ALL of the libraries we manage up and running again. We know that the children miss coming to the library and the volunteers miss seeing them there. We have great plans for our programming, including adding a librarian to our team and restarting our always-popular Library Cafés with a roster of new, local authors and illustrators. We hope you have time to enjoy some summer reading!