By Lynne Adkins
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is the first day in 25 years that students at a West Philadelphia public elementary school can visit a library in their building.
For months, volunteers have been cleaning the room, making it child-friendly and cataloguing the 20,000 donated books that make up the new library at the Morton McMichael School, says David Florig, executive director of the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children.
“They’ve been working since early summer to add books to the library, to get them all catalogued and computerized and make the space really nice, warm and inviting for students to come in and, for the first time in a generation, to experience a school library.”
Florig says there still won’t be a librarian.
“Our volunteers actually staff the library two days a week, teachers bring their classes in to the library and our volunteers read stories to them and do an activity and then help the students check out books they can take home and read to themselves.”
Florig says for years schools have been eliminating libraries to save money, but he says studies show that schools with libraries have higher achieving students.