Donation

LaFayette Middle School’s media center made a donation to the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library, a branch of the Cherokee Regional Library System. From left: Tim York, branch manager for LaFayette-Walker County Public Library; Kathleen Salkeld, assistant manager and youth education coordinator for LaFayette-Walker County Public Library; Sylvia Ashley, media specialist at LaFayette Middle School; and Kelly Long, principal at LaFayette Middle School.

We, at LaFayette Middle School (LMS), cannot praise the Cherokee Regional Library System and their faculty enough! They have proven to be dedicated to the overall support of not only the clientele of our community, but to our local students at LaFayette Middle School as well.

The faculty of our local library have been essential in supporting us and our students during this pandemic by providing access to quality eBooks and audiobooks. This was a need for which we had not had many resources prior to their collaboration with our media center.

Recently, I reached out to the LaFayette branch of the Cherokee Regional Library System to see if they could help give our students access to digital audiobooks and eBooks. This was necessary for us to give digital access to eBooks to our students, especially the students who have chosen to learn through our virtual platform.

Prior to contacting the library, my research resulted in the realization of the high price point from my current vendors, which made these services very cost-prohibitive. The Cherokee Regional Library System worked with us to get a digital-only library card into the hands of every one of our middle school students.

For students who had existing cards, they were able to waive fines and get them immediate access. They even came to our school and helped the students get signed in for the first time! The eBooks offered to all of our students through this partnership with the public library are well over 30,000 available titles, both fiction and non-fiction. This financial savings is a true blessing for our school and the media center. By the end of the third day our students had already checked out an estimated 2,000 audio and eBooks!

LaFayette Middle School is so blessed to have built this partnership with the Cherokee Regional Library System in order to utilize the resources available. These resources include the Cherokee Regional Library System’s Time with Teacher tutoring program which has been a great benefit to our students. I personally was so excited to see this resource offered, our school immediately shared this resource on our own website, our social media platforms as well as our Google Classrooms so that all students and guardians could have knowledge of this offering. In addition, their online resources and instructional videos on how to use those resources have been things we are sharing with students and their guardians to help them in this time of COVID-19.

We are honored to make this donation from our media center at LaFayette Middle School to the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library, a branch of the Cherokee Regional Library System. Our recent joint efforts have opened up many more avenues for an open communication with significant opportunities to collaborate! This partnership will continue through the years with the assistance of Kathleen Salkeld, assistant manager and youth education coordinator for LaFayette-Walker County Public Library; Tim York, branch manager for LaFayette-Walker County Public Library; and Chelsea Kovalesvsky, assistant director of the Cherokee Regional Library System. We look forward in promoting the love of reading and the love of learning through elevating awareness of programs such as Ready to READ, STEAM, Craft Night, book clubs and much more.

Sylvia Ashley is media specialist at LaFayette Middle School.

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