A memorial library started in June by a group of volunteers in the laundry room of troubled Andpress Plaza in North Amityville has since received more than 7,000 donated books from Long Islanders, say group members Debbie Walcott and Tracy Smitherman.

“The outpouring of giving hearts has overwhelmed us all,” Smitherman wrote to Newsday.

The library, which began with 500 books, is dedicated to the memory of Chantell Mallory and Aaron Thomas, two former Plaza residents who shared a love of reading. Both died recently and at young ages.

After receiving a deluge of books in response to a story in Newsday about the library, volunteers found they were unable to accept all of the donations, Walcott said.

The group kept some of the books, according to Walcott, and donated more than 4,000 to three Wyandanch public schools — Milton L. Olive Middle School, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and the LaFrancis Hardiman Elementary.

Walcott says adults and children have been borrowing the books, and several mothers have started a book-reading club for the kids.

“We also received a couple of SAT books and college books, and we can see the kids are already using them,” Walcott said. “We got four or five, and we only have one left in the bookcase. We’re glad they were put to good use.”

– excerpted from Donated books stack up at community library, Long Island Newsday, 7/31/2012

Photo credit: Newsday/Jessica Rotkiewicz
Jillian Thomas (left) along with Valerie Taylor, both of Amityville,
stand in front of the laundry room where a 500-book library was donated
by Mission Accomplished. (June 15, 2012)

The power of print supporting print supporting a community…Kindle that…or not…