Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Free to Read

We need your help at the World Bird Sanctuary library.  Five years ago we started a free library as an answer to what we could do with a building made for our docent program, which is along our exhibit line. 

WBS's docent center/library (photo: Gay Schroer)

A volunteer had some books he asked us to give away during an event.  This generous act got us to thinking…why not develop our docent building into a free library made up of books about wildlife and the environment.  We also had pallets of posters in our warehouse that we no longer sold and were considering recycling.  Instead we decided to give them away.

The library is a great kid's activity center (photo: Sandra Lowe)

So as a thank you to the public for all the years of support, we opened our library with free books and free posters.   We also have made the entire area into a great kid’s activity center.  We have sidewalk chalk, a puppet show area, coloring sheets, crayons, and touch items such as wings and claws.  We hope it all can educate and inspire old and young alike.

The help we need is twofold; first we need volunteers to run the library. This is a very rewarding activity giving away books and posters.  In return you get smiles and people looking a little stunned when they realize it really is free. 

We need books to replenish our shelves and volunteers to staff the library

The second thing we need is books about the environment and wildlife.  These can be new or gently used books for all age levels.  We need animal books for infants and toddlers the most.  It seems these disappear quickly.  We ask people to share or return the books when they are done with them, but they can also keep them and cherish them forever.  Every year we collect hundreds of books from the public. 

We also receive books from the St. Louis book fair and would like to thank them and encourage everyone to go to the book fair each year.  We have given away close to four thousand books since the library started.  We are very proud of all the staff and volunteers who have donated their time and books to this effort.

If you have any books about wildlife or the environment that you wish to donate or you know a source that would donate books to our library, please contact Joe Hoffmann at 636 861-1392.   You can also drop books off at our new donation drop-off building near the World Bird Sanctuary Wildlife Hospital.

Submitted by Joe Hoffmann, World Bird Sanctuary Rehabilitation Hospital Manager

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