SLIS donates home library to Habitat for Humanity family

The FSU School of Library Information Studies (SLIS) and Dr. Nancy Everhart, Associate Professor and Director of the PALM Center (Partnerships Advancing Library Media), hosted a ceremony on Jun. 10 in the Goldstein Library to commemorate the donation of a 106-book library to a local single-parent family, the Josephs.

The library contribution plans were announced on Feb. 12 at a celebration ceremony for new Habitat for Humanity homeowner, Bridgette Joseph.  At this event, Everhart discussed the future arrangements to furnish  Joseph and her three children with a $1,000 home library in partnership with Follett Library Resources, Inc..  This donation marks the fourth home library that SLIS and Follett have provided for a Habitat family with the Warrick Dunn Charities’ Home for the Holidays Program since Everhart began this initiative in 2011.

The Home for the Holidays Program was created by SLIS alumnus and former FSU/NFL football player, Warrick Dunn, to honor the struggles of his own single mother as she raised him and his five siblings.  In collaboration with local charities like Habitat for Humanity, Dunn’s program has benefited 127 struggling single-parent families in six cities.  To further help them along the path to financial independence, Warrick Dunn Charities fully furnishes the houses including linens, furniture, food, and almost everything a family could need.

Almost everything, that is.  After hearing about the Home for the Holidays Program, Everhart discovered that books had been left off the list.  Working with other SLIS professors such as Dr. Melissa Gross, Dr. Don Latham and Associate Director of the PALM Center, Dr. Marcia A. Mardis, Everhart started a partnership with Follett Library Resources in 2011 to donate up to $1000 in books per family.  The process involves SLIS master’s students and faculty working with the families to order an appropriate library collection using questionnaires to match the ideal books for the children and parent.

Providing books for those who might not be able to easily access them otherwise is vital to Everhart and the FSU College of Communication & Information (CCI). “It’s so important to get children interested in reading early,” she said before the proceedings regarding the library.

CCI Dean, Dr. Larry Dennis, and Everhart led the ceremony, thanking the Warrick Dunn Charities and the Follett Group for their support and commitment to the community.  After brief introductions, the children were invited to unwrap brightly-decorated boxes holding their family’s new library.  They excitedly admired the books and even read passages aloud, to the delight of the SLIS professors who made this contribution possible.

CCI Dean Larry Dennis Speaking

Dr. Nancy Everhart Speaking

Dean Larry Dennis presenting books to family

Dean Larry Dennis and book presents

Showing book to boy

Boy with new book