Success Story: Girls Inc. Library

I love volunteering my time to organize for nonprofit groups. While I’m not rewarded for the work monetarily, the intangible rewards are numerous. I am able to benefit a worthy cause, and the organizations are always so appreciative. Girls Inc. of Kingsport is an after school and summer program that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. I love their mission and passion. In this particular organizing project, I was fortunate to work alongside Jacqueline Byers who was completing this as a Girl Scout Gold Project. The project was whole-heartedly approved, and Jacqueline received the Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts. Jacqueline’s mother Julie was extremely helpful as well. I am especially thankful that Julie took so many great pictures of the project.

The library had a good sized collection of books, but they were in quite a bit of disarray and there was no checkout system. Our goal was to put the books into an order that the girls could easily find what they needed, and to make the library an inviting space in which to read. We decided that instead of the usual arrangement of fiction titles alphabetically by author, we would arrange them by genre. My sister is a middle school librarian, and in the summer of 2017 we made this change to her library’s fiction section. Most of the students don’t necessarily know author’s names, but they do know what kind of books they like. Having the books arranged by genres like Mystery, Sports, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, etc. For the nonfiction books, we arranged them by topic instead of using the Dewey Decimal system. For each different genre and topic, we used a different color of round sticker, and then we posted a key to all of the sticker colors. Much of the work took place during September, when I was in Oregon. Jacquelin and her family did all of the painting and sticker application. My co-worker Laurie was also able to help with the project, as well as several Girls Inc. staff members. I truly could not have completed this project on my own! Julie’s wonderful pictures show each stage of the process. This was a very time consuming project, but as an avid reader who loves children’s books, I loved every minute of it!

Library before


Library during 2


Library during


Library after