By Linda Dillman
Born out of an effort over a decade ago to help compensate for dwindling library funding, members of Hamilton Township High School’s Alumni Association continue to annually support the high school media center.
The Cole Memorial Library Fund was created to buy books and resources the media center would not otherwise be able to procure. It is a way to honor long-time history instructor George Cole, who spent his career as a teacher in the Hamilton district starting in the 1930s.
On May 19, Hamilton Township High School Alumni Association Treasurer Karen Hunter Cook presented an $800 check to media center specialist Nicky Harter on behalf of the alumni organization to purchase supplies for the upcoming school year.
Over the last five years, the alumni association has donated more than $5,700 to the Hamilton High School Media Center.
“As a group of graduates and now professionals both working and retired, we know the importance of the media center,” said Cook. “Students need this area of the school to learn how to access information in libraries at a college or trade school they attend after graduating from HTHS. Libraries are the backbone of their studies now and in the future and we want this tool to be at their ready. Learning how to use library resources is as important as the information it offers them and through the generosity of our members, we are able to help keep those resources current.”
Cook said libraries typically are not heavily subsidized by school districts and often feel the pain when belt tightening takes place.
“The funds they do get are never enough,” said Cook. “Today, a library does much more than just loan books. It serves as a media center and houses much more than books filed by the Dewey Decimal System and index cards that tell you where a book is located. There are now areas for computers, copiers and in some cases supplies, unlike decades ago. We support our media center to help them get some of the supplies—be it books or equipment—that they might not otherwise be able to buy.”
Harter is already using the donation to purchase books including “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R Covey, which students use in their advisory classes over the course of the school year.
“I wanted to include a copy in our collection,” said Harter.
Also on the list is “The 1619 Project,” by Nikole Hannah-Jones, a popular award-winning book about the history of slavery in the United States; a copy of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood to replace a well-worn edition of the timeless classic; “The 57 Bus,” by Dashka Slate; and “Exit, pursued by a bear,” by E.K. Johnston; and “Firekeeper’s Daughter,” by Angeline Boulley.
“This (“Firekeeper’s Daughter”) is one of the most awarded and highly acclaimed young adult novels of 2021,” said Harter. “I am excited to add it to our collection.”