|Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove|
|Jennifer Myers stacks books on some of the new shelves at the Dunloe Elementary library.|
|The renovated Dunloe library features colorful images of literary characters painted by teachers Jennifer Myers (pictured here), Megan Merritt, and Brooke Wright.|
When Dunloe Elementary students return to school this fall they will find a renovated and newly stocked library waiting for them to explore the wonders of books.
"The school library is one of the most important places in the school," said Dunloe Elementary kindergarten teacher Jennifer Myers, who spearheaded the effort to fix up the 40-year-old school library. "We want it to be an inviting place where kids can pick up a book and find a quiet place to read. We want it to be a fun, safe place with a lot to offer where kids can go to learn. Hopefully it will also encourage kids to visit other libraries, too."
Myers, along with 20 volunteers of mostly fellow teachers and including Dunloe Principal Jane Curry, as well as Union Savings Bank Vice-President Thomas Klacik, worked several weeks this summer to clean, paint, renovate, and restock the library. The work was funded with $5,000 provided by Union Savings Bank.
"Our bank has a community action committee that reaches out and gives back to the community," said Klacik. "We try to make the dollars stretch for good causes and try to be physically involved."
When work to improve the library began, the volunteers knew they had a big job ahead of them.
"It (the library) was in pretty bad condition," said Myers. "Everything needed a good scrubbing. The old carpet was dirty and smelly and most of the shelves were original to the building."
"It was pitiful," added Klacik. "Duct tape held the carpet together."
Myers said improvements included: getting rid of the old carpet and replacing it with a tile floor; applying fresh colorful paint that replaced dull white walls; obtaining new book shelves and a new computer table; and lots of new books obtained in a book drive as well as through a donation from the Library Guild Association.
The new paint job features images of literary figures on the walls painted by Myers and fellow teachers Megan Merritt and Brooke Wright.
"We’re hoping when kids see the characters on the walls it will help bring the characters to life and encourage kids to read about them," said Myers.
A welcome addition to the library, said Myers, is a classroom rug that can be rolled out that features 28 spaces for kids to have a soft place to sit and read or be read to.
The wide variety of new books now neatly stacked on the shelves are a good addition to the library, said Myers, "But we still are using 1978 encyclopedias. We still have a need for more new books."
New computers are another prominent need for the library, according to Myers.
"We have computers that are barely working in the library," said Myers. "Most Groveport Madison schools have computer labs. Dunloe is supposed to get one, but we haven’t gotten it yet."
Added Klacik, "There’s a desperate need here for new computers and the technology people to set them up."
Myers thanked all the volunteers involved in the project.
"It was a lot of work, but it’s always helpful when people get involved," she said.