Library Build is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending educational inequities in Philadelphia through working libraries and library instruction.
Library Build was founded in December 2009 by Callie Hammond while she was working in one of Philadelphia's chronically underfunded public schools, a school with no working library for student use, and unsurprisingly, the school was also failing to meet national testing standards as established by the No Child Left Behind Act. Additionally, the majority of its students were not meeting state grade level standards in reading and writing and the school was ranked near the bottom of all the elementary schools in the state of Pennsylvania.
The problems facing this school and its students are not unique; many American public schools struggle to provide their students with the resources necessary to learn. Research illustrates that there is a strong connection between the lack of library resources and the failure to achieve a satisfactory level of literacy. Library Build was founded to respond to this crisis in education.
Library Build is an innovative and unique organization that seeks to provide public school students with fully functional, complete libraries, and access to dedicated librarians. While literacy and educational equity have long been the focus of nonprofits and programs, we are one of few committed to comprehensive program development in library creation, maintenance and sustainability.
Library Build is committed to creating sustainable working libraries for use in Philadelphia's least fortunate schools, with the ultimate goal of laying a foundation for educational achievement through reading.
Meet our Board Members
Callie is the founder and Executive Director of Library Build, Inc, which she founded after working in a North Philadelphia school that, among many other resources, did not have a functioning school library. While developing Library Build, Callie worked as a Philadelphia public school teacher through the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows. She received a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the Public Service Award. Callie also created and runs Philly Girls Read, an after-school program that promotes socially conscious volunteerism in middle school girls.
Jimmy is a native of Kansas City, Missouri who moved to Philadelphia in 2010 after completing a leadership development program at The Boeing Company. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri and is now a Partner in an Applied Innovation Consulting Firm, Kinext. While growing up in Kansas City, Jimmy attended an inner city elementary school where he was one of only a few classmates who could read at their correct grade level. The exposure to educational struggles at such a young age had a profound impact on Jimmy and helped him realize the importance of lifelong learning. Through ongoing support Jimmy believes Library Build will help students develop the educational base needed to be successful in today's world.
Ty brings a diverse professional background including 20 years of finance in private industry employment and 14+ years of development experience in non-profit organizations. Ty received a BS in Organizational Leadership, a MSM in Organizational Leadership, and a Master's in Human Resources. Ty joined the Board because she believes in the mission to provide functional libraries for Philadelphia public schools and that the literacy and lifelong success of students is dependent on their ability to expand their knowledge through books.
Megan earned a M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a B. A. from the University of Richmond. Currently employed in strategic insights with Mars Inc., she brings experience in branding/marketing, analytics, and strategy development. Megan joined the Board because she believes that literacy is the basis for all educational achievement, and that strong schools can fundamentally change entire communities for the better.
Kelly is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in Economics. Since then, he has worked in finance and investing, most recently with Milestone Partners, a private equity firm based in Philadelphia. He joined the board because reading, books and libraries have always had a very positive impact on his life and he believes that functioning libraries should play a crucial role in Philadelphia's K-12 educational system. A native of the Philadelphia area, Kelly is committed to the community that Library Build serves and passionate about supporting its next generation through increased educational opportunity.
A "working" library is one that provides:
All students should be able to visit their school library and learn from a trained educator who is committed to working in their school library for a year or more.
Our Library Fellows program leverages current Masters of Library Science (MLS) students at Philadelphia-area universities, as well as MLS graduates who are committed and passionate about serving Philadelphia students.
Library Fellows have access to curriculum-building materials and academic experts who will help develop impactful strategies to foster higher reading levels and encourage a love of reading among all ages.
We are currently engaged in our first or "pilot" project with William Rowen Elementary in North Philadelphia.After the initial build and fellow placement processes are complete, we plan to measure the impact of our services and the strength of our organization – through tangible metrics like number of books checkout out, student participation in enrichment programs, number of students reading at grade level, cost to serve, number of engaged volunteers and fundraising efficiency, as well as intangibles like teacher/administrator satisfaction with our program.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, contributions to Library Build are tax deductible. And as a lean operating organization with no paid staff, 100% of your donation goes to supporting and funding our programs. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation online below (include current donation links). Alternatively, donations in check form can be made out to "Library Build, Inc." and sent to our mailing address at:
PO Box 42096
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Our programs require specific goods and services to truly transform libraries. We are always open to partner with organizations or individuals who are interested in helping with any of the below:
View and purchase books directly for Library Build on our book wish list on Amazon.com
We are mostly in need of volunteers during our "build" days, but happily welcome any volunteers who believe they can contribute to our mission in some way. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know about our upcoming volunteer events.
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