Logically, turnout last year was sporadic when the temperature hovered in the upper nineties or higher. Some days, two sweaty kids braved the heat for books. On milder afternoons, many more walked away with summer reads. So the haunting question throughout this year has been how to give away more books.
When homeroom teachers around Clarke County were given the Summer Food Service Program flyers to send home before school let out, the issue of low turnout during Bibliobike deliveries was potentially solved. The plan is to arrive when lunches are being distributed. Before or after kids and families get their meals, they will also be able to grab some books.
I toured the Broadacres, Rocksprings and Lay Park neighborhoods on May fifth to get a feel for resident density and find routes that minimize the number of hills. I snapped some photos, and if the ones above are any indication of the need for books in these communities, it’s going to be a successful summer.
Linda Schroeder is an integral part of the Oconee Area Resource Council, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit providing food for families in need year-round, in addition to offering mentoring services to K-12 students throughout Oconee County. In Linda’s words, “We are one full time and two half time staffers. We have a good number of volunteers and a supportive board, and that’s how we are able to get a lot done.”
Linda’s serendipitous email last week couldn’t have been more timely, as the process of organizing this summer’s books had just begun. She offered to donate a large collection of used children’s books already sorted by by age, which will save a significant amount of energy when it’s time to load up the Bibliobike in a few weeks. It took two trips to transport the collection, which now occupies a considerable amount of space at the house.
Many thanks to Linda for reaching out, and to everyone working to help folks in need. When we commit to the well-being of others, it’s curious how quickly compassion spreads.