BY YVETTE BROWN
On Monday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney paid a visit to the children and faculty of PS 171 in Sunnyside to encourage students to read through the Library of Congress book donation program, which she launched in her district.
Collectively, Maloney delivered more than 250 new books between PS 171, IS 126 and Long Island City High School. This is in an effort to boost literacy and to increase the love for reading among the students of New York City schools.
Maloney has partnered with Zone 126 – an organization that focuses on building a cradle-to-career pipeline for children in Queens. Zone 126 was the organization that requested the books on behalf of the schools that they work with.
“When I found out that they had Surplus books, and that there was a way that I could get them to my district, I then set this up and [made] a website and I’m working with getting books throughout my district and we decided to do it in Queens first,” said Maloney.
The books were provided by the Library of Congress Surplus Books Program. The Library of Congress has thousands of books that are not needed for the library’s own use, so they are sent to the Surplus Books Program and are readily available to donate to schools, libraries, community centers and other organizations. The program allows members of Congress to request books from the library so that they can distribute them to eligible non-profit organizations, which allows them to expand their public accessible collection.
“You can go to my website and order any book, not by title, but you could say that you’re school particularly wanted more science books or more history books for the age range and they will send them to your school,” said Maloney. “This is a great program to expand literacy, to expand learning and it’s available to any school in my district.”
The books range from fiction to non-fiction, and children’s books to test prep books. The goal is to improve book collections in public institutions. The institutions that qualify for the program are full-time, tax supported or non-profit educational institutions, local, state and federal government agencies and non-profits that operate publicly accessible libraries and/or research centers.
“[Maloney’s] office reached out to [Zone 126] around the surplus of books and wanting to be able to contribute them in person to one of our schools and we decided that PS 171 would be the best place,” said Anju J. Rupchandani, Zone 126 interim executive director and vice president of Collective Impact Partnerships. “It’s one of our first schools that we worked with over the last five years and essentially Zone 126 is building cradle-to-career community schools and so we really wanted to have PS 171, IS 126 and LIC High School, so it really shows the Pre-K through 12 model essentially because we are building our students to ensure that they are college and career ready.”
To fill out a form and submit a request, visit maloney.house.gov/services/surplus-books-program.
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.