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Monday, May 2, 2016

A Lending Library for Project Row Houses - Houston, TX: Guest Post

The fall 2015 service project was Season's Readings, a collaboration between GLISA officers in Houston and Denton, collected over 1,000 picture, children’s, and young adult books for donation to four non-profit organizations. Project Row Houses (PRH), a community-based arts and culture non-profit in Houston’s Third Ward, was a recipient of several hundred books. Upon delivery, Walter Hull, the Education Coordinator at PRH, shared his excitement over the large amount of donated books delivered and explained that the Education House would be transformed into a neighborhood lending library beginning in spring 2016. GLISA President, Christine DeAngelis, and Vice President, Paloma Lenz, offered GLISA’s assistance in creating an online catalog for the library in order to track the inventory of books and enable the creation of patron accounts. Mr. Hull accepted the proposition and in February both GLISA officers began working to identify a low-cost online cataloging system fit for a small library.
The officers chose Libib, an online cloud cataloging system that allows users to catalog books, DVDs, CDs, and video games in their collection for free. Going pro with the system means users can customize their own online catalog and enable searching and lending, along with a variety of other features, for just $60 a year. Libib also has apps available for download on iPhone and Android devices. Additionally, the officers decided on a classification system based on genres adapted for children, teens, and adults.

On April 9, Christine and Paloma spent 7 hours cataloging 253 books into the Libib account created for PRH. The cataloging process included searching for the books in Libib either by keyword or ISBN, adding the record to the collection, applying a “group” (or subject heading), tags, and any necessary notes or summaries for the books. Many of the titles were already in the system, a handful required manual entry.

The officers returned April 15 for another 6 hours to continue cataloging, ending the day with a total of 398 items in the collection. Currently, the officers have a handful of books awaiting cataloging before they begin physically applying labels to the books. They anticipate two more days will be necessary to complete the project. 

At the end of their most recent visit, the Houston GLISA officers met with PRH’s Executive Director, Eureka Gilkey, who shared Mr. Hull’s enthusiasm for GLISA’s assistance in the building and design of the new lending library, assuring GLISA that the work being done is of great value to PRH and will be a lasting contribution to the organization and the surrounding community.

Paloma Lenz is the Vice President of GLISA, and graduates in May - congrats, Paloma!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Paloma, for tracking our hours at PRH and letting everyone know how rewarding a service project like this is. I've had a lot of fun!

    We just finished another Saturday there yesterday labeling books. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...probably only another three hours and we'll be done.

    I can't wait to see 'our' collection on the wall shelving and in the hands of PRH's patrons. That will be the real reward.

    ~Christine D.