Bookshelf Literacy Night

HELPING YOUNG READERS: Community Manager Felicia Dilbert and Retail Manager/Children’s Book Buyer Olivia Schaffer stand in the children’s section, where they helped pick books from the wishlist on Thursday night.

THOMASVILLE — The Bookshelf hosted their first ever Literacy Night on Thursday, prompting patrons to purchase books or donate money to stock local elementary school libraries.

According to The Bookshelf Manager Annie Jones, people who attended the Literacy Night were able to either pick out books themselves to donate to the libraries or donated money that The Bookshelf then turned into gift cards in order to shop based off wishlists.

The books purchased were given to Harper Elementary School, Scott Elementary School or the Boys and Girls Club.

“School budgets are tight, and libraries suffer the most,” explained Community Manager Felicia Dilbert.

The books don’t just go to the libraries.

“The books go to both the school and classroom libraries, but kids who meet their AR goal, also get to take home a free, brand new book,” Jones said excitedly.

So far, the program in place only provides books to elementary schools who show the most need, but Jones said she hopes to offer more Literacy Nights to expand their reach into the middle and high schools as well.

Jones explained that The Bookshelf is constantly focusing on community literacy, but with March also being National Literacy Month, it seemed like the prime opportunity.

“We’ve partnered with Harper Elementary School for a while now and donate books to their school library, so you can shop our website for school donations and then we take them over,” Jones said. “That partnership has been such a gift for us, but also a gift for them, so we really wanted to extend the reach.”

As the Community Manager, Dilbert was able to extend The Bookshelf’s reach and really take off with the initial idea at Harper Elementary.

ones was very happy with the turnout of the first Literacy Night, saying that they had a variety of ways people shopped

“Some people who couldn’t be here in person tonight already shopped the wishlist online or made donations, so staff could shop the wishlist tonight,” she said.

With the success, Jones said the goal is to have a Literacy Night quarterly or at least twice a year.

However, she reminds those interested that they can shop on The Bookshelf’s website all year long for the school’s wishlist or even come in the store and purchase a book to donate to the library.

“If you come in with $100 and you want to donate to the school, we will do the shopping for you, because we are in constant communication with the schools about what books they need,” she concluded. “If you aren’t sure what they need, it’s okay; that’s what we are here for.”

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