Equitable access to information that sparks personal growth and benefits communities at large is a cornerstone of the Penn Libraries' enterprise with immensely relevant and tremendously impactful application beyond campus.
Budget cuts are forcing many public school libraries to shut their doors. Volunteers rather than librarians often staff the libraries that do remain open, offering limited - if any - access to young students.
The Penn Libraries funds a community outreach librarian who manages numerous initiatives in an effort to remediate these disparities and losses.
Through these efforts, we make some of Penn's expertise, technology, time and much more available to teachers in vulnerable classrooms, as well as materials in the native languages of schoolkids' families and books related to classroom curricula and essential to child development.
Ensuring that children can read by fourth grade makes all the difference, starting with graduating on time and helping lead to a happy, healthy, productive life - and the Penn Libraries is determined to contribute to their success.