BY NATHAN DAVIS, CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Following the DCPS initiative to provide every school with an “Opening Day Collection” (a full spectrum of books across the Dewey Decimal System that support instruction), around 10,000 books are being shipped to Wilson. This was the largest sum of books provided to a DCPS high school as Wilson has the largest student population of any D.C. public high school . The books will come in two shipments, the first, containing 6,700 books that arrived last Thursday, October 31st, and the second, containing 3,300, that will arrive at a later date.
Before the first shipment arrived last Thursday, Librarian Pamela Gardener “thought [the library staff] would be able to shelve the books in two days.” Once the books were received and the process began, Gardener realized what a huge undertaking this quantity of books was. “It took us a whole day just to get [the books] out of the boxes and onto tables by general classification,” Gardener noted when describing the gap between her expectations of the time shelving would take and reality. To assist the library staff in the shelving process several students and parents, the WAVE community service club, and employees from the Baker and Tailor book distribution company all volunteered their assistance.
Adding to the difficulty of the shelving process, was inadequate space for the books. Noticing this deficit quickly, Gardner was able to pick up seven new shelves from the DCPS warehouse (a warehouse filled with excess materials allocated to DCPS schools by the General Services Administration) on New York Avenue and Adams Place. Gardner says that these seven new shelves will provide enough new space to field the first shipment of books, but that she expects Wilson to pay for all the new shelving space she will need for the next shipment. With all the new shelving units, the library is expanding into the middle section of the media-center that sits directly above it.
At this point Gardner believes the books will be almost completely shelved by Friday.
Gardner believes that this new shipment will increase the library’s viability as a place to conduct research for school projects as well as a place to develop personal interests. “It will produce broader and deeper research projects… and also help curious students,” she said, adding, “Teachers are planning to make more assignments out of these [new] books.”