Students in West Oak Lane get new library

PHILADELPHIA - December 7, 2012

Can you imagine a school without a library? Until Friday morning, that was the reality at Rowen Elementary School in West Oak Lane.

The school hadn't had one worth talking about in more than 15 years.

"We worked extremely hard. We garnered support from our home and school; we garnered support from our parents. Students worked. We had an MLK Day of service where we cleaned out and weeded out so many books," said Principal James Murray.

Having a school with no library didn't sit right with Callie Hammond creator of a non-profit called Library Build.

She lined up volunteers, raised cash, and set out to give Rowen books and all the other resources.

"I just didn't put too much thought at the beginning and I just went for it, and took one step at a time," said Hammond.

All those steps took almost a year, with the help of many people and a good deal of money.

Rowen dedicated the new library Friday morning, and the students are thankful and eager to enjoy the books.

"I think it is really cool, because all of the kids can come down here and read the books that they really like," said 5th grader Markeith Johnson.

"What I want to really, really, really want to read about is the 'Jacket Annie Magic Tree House' books, because I always read every series," said Tyjon White.

"I think it's wonderful because you can check out all the books you want and read all of the information you want. It's pretty good," said Andrew Corney.

"It is really cool, because it used to not be really good books there, and now it's good books here," said Ashley Jones.

Friday's newness may go away, but hopefully, the kids will never outgrow their love of reading.

The Rowen library is intended to serve the entire school family.

"It is for educators, it's for students, it's for our parents," said Principal Murray.

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