New Chapter – Bright, Jacobson, and Shiffler Houses
New Chapters is excited to share the opening of the final two new mini libraries at Orchard Place Campus. What we started in January 2018 with the opening of the Aliber House Library, we’ve finished with the Bright House Book Closet opening in April and the combined Jacobson/Shiffler Book Nook opening in June. It was important to us and the wonderful staff at Orchard Place, that each of the residential facilities has their own reading space. Now, all of the kids have access to current, interesting and fun new books to help them unwind, and perhaps escape for a little while.
Bright House Book Closet
Bright House had a small bookcase, but most of the titles were very dated, and the books themselves torn and damaged. As the staff looked for a separate space in the building that we could renovate for a mini library, they came up with a storage closet in the lower level that had previously been used for storing extra clothes, shoes, and other miscellaneous items. The good news was that the closet had some really nice shelves that would be perfect for our books! The staff cleaned it out, and with a little elbow grease, paint and wall decorations we were ready to place the books on the shelves.
We purchased new books, cataloged them into the database, and labeled each book spine with a colored sticker to identify the genre as Animal Stories, Fun Facts, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Humorous, Realistic Fiction, Science Fiction, Thrillers, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Sports, or True Stories.
Next, we organized the Book Nook into separate sections for Juvenile, Middle School, and Young Adult which allows the kids to easily browse the appropriate section of the library and to find the perfect book.
The Bright House Book Closet opened on April 11th with 550 new books and received a “thumbs up” from the kids and staff. Our volunteers were overwhelmed with the joy and excitement radiating from the kids when they saw the new library space! The new books will provide hours of enjoyment and escape from the difficulties they are working through. Many thanks to our wonderful donors and to the WINGS (Women In God’s Service) group from St. Francis of Assisi Parish for contributing new books and bookstore gift cards to the new library.
Jacobson/Shiffler Book Nook
To make the final new mini library at Orchard Place Campus become a reality, we turned our attention to Jacobson House and Shiffler House. While looking for the perfect space for the library, we had to get a bit creative. Neither of the buildings physically had any available space for us to use. Luckily, the staff found a great solution in a hallway that connects the buildings that were being used for laundry storage.
The staff cleaned out the space and we had the hallway painted and custom bookshelves built. Again, we cataloged each of the new books that we had purchased into the database, identified the copy id and location, and placed a colored sticker on the book spine to identify the genre.
The Jacobson/Shiffler Book Nook opened June 13th with over 340 titles, and has been a big hit ever since! One of the kids wrote our volunteers a thank-you letter that nicely summed up their excitement:
“Thank you so much for the books, I have read almost all of them already since you visited us!!!! They are so cool and all the books are so new. Almost all the books we had were from older authors, but any new book we got, people would almost start a World War for books, just to read them! Maybe a suggestion would be more superhero books, but thank you for everything. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy books. Books are cool!”
About New Chapters Libraries
At New Chapters, our collective passion is to inspire a love of books among at-risk youth. We believe that strong reading skills are essential for every child and that a good book can be very therapeutic and offer a ‘vacation’ from the hardships of everyday life.
New Chapters is committed to making a wide variety of current and high-interest books readily available by creating and refurbishing libraries in residential facilities catering to at-risk children. We also conduct programs aimed at fostering a love of books and increasing reading skills.