Jakub Caja, CZ via thenounproject
The library club held the annual book drive during the week before school was closed, on March 9-13. Club members accepted donations of new or used books before and after school in the high school atrium.
The club collected over 1,200 books for kids in grades K-8 to be donated to the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank.
“The book bank distributes the books to daycares and schools and other groups all across Northeast Ohio who have a need for books,” librarian Angela Maxwell said.
Sophomore Hiba Ali, Vice President of the library club, explained how teachers encouraged their students to contribute.
“[Club members kept records] for students to fill out…to keep track of what class [the students] wanted extra credit for and how much they could get,” she said.
Ali also explained what the club did to protect against the spread of coronavirus.
“Mrs. Maxwell cleaned the carts and boxes,” she said.
Club member Samah Khan also made a poster to advertise the book drive.
Maxwell explained that the book drive has been going on for a long time.
“We’ve been doing the book drive in the library club for many years,” she said. “We have, for the past few years, partnered with the Cleveland Kids Book Bank which is downtown, and we try to collect books for kids in preschool through 8th grade that are new and gently used, and we typically collect thousands of books each year.“
Ali commented that some students donated impressive piles of books.
“The Solomon twins came with a lot of books,” she said. “They even brought a laundry basket full of books…”
The majority of the books came in at the end of the week.
“[The students] didn’t donate much at the beginning of the week and then near the end, so many people came to donate and it was very hectic and busy,” she added.
Maxwell explained that the library club usually does other activities after collecting the books.
“[After the book drive], [the library club usually]…spends a day in service delivering books to the book bank, helping them sort books into different bins and find good homes for the books,” she said. “So, [we] sort [the books] by grade level and by interest level and it’s a lot of fun.”
Maxwell also said that due to the coronavirus, she is unsure when the library club will deliver the books this year.
“Right now all plans are on hold,” she said. “We could deliver the books in the summer or next school year, but I’m holding off on contacting the Kids’ Book Bank to make plans until we have more information about what the next couple of months will entail.”
Ali also commented on the day in service.
“Because of the quarantine, we don’t have much of an idea of if and when the field trip will happen,” she said.
“[The coronavirus] definitely put a damper on things, and club members, including me, were worried about germ transfer via the books,” Ali added.
Nevertheless, Ali found the book drive to be a very rewarding experience.
“I really enjoyed all of it, it is such an amazing experience,” she said. “I’m very passionate about because books have been very important in my life, and I’m very grateful to have the experience to give back to the community and let other kids have the same opportunity.”