By Rick Palsgrove
Wagnalls Memorial Library in Lithopolis and Madison Christian School in Groveport are teaming up to get more library materials into the hands of students.
Tami Morehart, Wagnalls Memorial, Library director, applied for and received a $5,000 grant from The Fairfield County Foundation that will be used for Tech for Teens and covers the updating of Wagnalls Teen Center.
“We have added new furniture, computers, and books,” said Morehart. “We are also thrilled to have added equipment that allows us to take our materials on the road. Through a program called LEAP, we are now able to check out books to students remotely.”
Morehart said library cards were given to all junior high and high school students at Madison Christian. Students can go to the Wagnalls Library website and request books.
“We hold these for the students and Amy Hesterman, the librarian at Madison Christian as well as a Wagnalls volunteer, picks them up to take to the school once a week,” said Morehart. “By having this new technology, Wagnalls is better able to serve teens, who might otherwise not be able to get to a public library.”
Morehart said Madison Christian School is the first school Wagnalls has partnered with.
“Wagnalls hopes to expand this service through partnerships with other local schools,” said Morehart. “We are always looking for ways to get books into students’ hands.”
Hesterman said this partnership is important to Madison Christian.
“Creating a culture of literacy appreciation with teens can sometimes be a challenge with commitments and distractions of teenage life,” said Hesterman. “This partnership with Wagnalls allows students to have a weekly opportunity to check out materials that they might not otherwise have convenient access to or be aware of.”
Hesterman said Madison Christian students began using the mobile check out system last October.
“The mobile system consists of an iPad and a scanner,” said Hesterman. “Using LEAP, they connect with the Central Library Consortium, which enables students to check out materials.”
Hesterman said the system has many advantages.
“The mobile check out system and our partnership with Wagnalls allows students to have the most current materials available for both research and pleasure reading,” said Hesterman. “With students’ busy schedules, this service saves them a trip to the public library and helps them to learn how to navigate the online system to place holds. Thus, students become more actively involved in determining and obtaining their reading choices.”
Hesterman said that, additionally, students can take advantage of The Book Nook, which is located in the foyer of the Madison Christian Junior/Senior High School and is open on Thursdays during their lunch periods.
“Students can come and check out their held items and/or choose from various other materials that are brought to the Book Nook each week,” said Hesterman. “Students who are customers of the Book Nook can also get a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with a Keurig that was donated for use at the Book Nook.”