St. James student Nydir completes his book exchange with library assistant Rachael Stube.

From the first days of planning for the opening of our school, St. James School had a clear vision of having a fully functioning and engaging library for its students.

Marge Devlin and David Kasievich

Marge Devlin presents David Kasievich with the books from her early fundraiser

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors and volunteers, but especially the leadership of board member Betsy McCarthy and volunteer Marge Devlin, the vision became a reality after collecting over 4,000 new and gently used books.

Betsy and Molly McCarthy

Betsy McCarthy (left) has been instrumental in establishing and cataloging the school library. Daughter Molly has also lended a great hand at the school.

Both McCarthy and Devlin activated their networks of friends, schools, churches and libraries. After two years of sorting, organizing, labeling and cataloging, our lending library recently opened to the students. Head library volunteers Betsy McCarthy, Rachael Stube and Bridget Lanouette organized their schedules so that they could be present once a week so each student in the school can gain access to the library.

Once a week, students request time with volunteer librarians to return books and choose new ones for the week. Volunteer librarians engage each student about their books, what they did (did not) enjoy, and what their interests are for future books. The books are scanned and organized with Library World, an online library management system.

St. James School owes a special word of gratitude to volunteer librarians and to the Hamilton Family Foundation for making the school’s lending library a reality.

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