ISSUED: 16 April 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Scarborough Library is celebrating a major overhaul of its children’s collection with a series of events that are free and open to the public. The library received a $30,000, three-year grant from the Scarborough Society, a friends of the library group sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, to purchase new books for the children’s section, which is located on the second floor.
Rachel Hally, coordinator of collections, said the over the next three years, nearly the entire collection will be replaced. “It’s sorely out of date,” Hally said. “We have been trying to buy the big award winners over the years, but there’s just not a lot of extra money in our collections budget and academic and scientific books cost a lot of money, so it doesn’t leave much for the children’s collection.”
Hally said the last time there was a major update of the children’s collection was in the 1980s. She said the collection is especially important to students in the Department of Education, who use it for lesson planning when they student teach.
“I wanted to make the collection more reflective of modern-day culture and society, and I don’t think our current children’s collection really does that,” Hally said. “I’m trying to focus on buying books that reflect culture and society today that address issues like bullying, multiculturalism, foreign languages, gender identity, and neurodiversity. Those are issues kids are facing and talking about these days. I want our future teachers to have materials at their fingertips and to be able to make more of a difference in the classroom because they have access to these resources.”
The library will host five events to showcase the new books in the collection. All events will take place from 1-3 p.m. and will include a craft project, read aloud, and the opportunity to browse the books. The first event will take place on Saturday, April 27, and will have a theme of #ownvoices and diversity.
“The #ownvoices movement in children’s literature promotes fiction in which the protagonist and author share the same marginalized or minority identity,” Hally said. “For example, a book about a black child written by a black author would be an #ownvoices book.”
Events will also take place May 24 featuring picture books, June 28 highlighting the middle grades, July 19 showcasing young adult fiction, and August 16 featuring nonfiction. Artwork from Shepherdstown Elementary and Page Jackson Elementary students will be displayed during the April and May events. Hally said it’s hoped these events will help make community members aware that anyone with a West Virginia driver’s license can get a borrowing card at Scarborough Library to check out books.
For more information, contact Hally at 304-876-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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