So far, there are six Literacy Connexus book banks in operation, located at First Baptist Church in Conroe, Center of Hope in Weatherford, Western Hills Baptist Church in Fort Worth, First Baptist Church in Del Rio, Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, and Royal Haven Baptist Church in Farmers Branch. Six down, 248 counties to go in Texas!
The concept is simple, and similar to a food bank. Resources come in, get sorted by volunteers, and are shared with those who lack books at home. Books are shared through Books for the Border and Beyond family reading fairs and other events that draw families. The book banks primarily receive and issue gently used children’s books. So far, thousands of books have been shared in the local communities of the book banks as well as taken to border communities.
Starting a book bank is a great way for members of your church to get involved in literacy ministry. It’s this simple:
1. Meet with your church leadership: staff, missions committee, librarian, etc. Explain the concept.
2. Find a room in your church facility that could serve as a book bank. Shelves will be needed as well as a sorting area (at least one table). Proximity to an exit on the first floor or near an elevator will be helpful. Enlist volunteers to help prepare the room.
3. Advertise the need for gently used children’s books, using our Book Donation Guidelines. The idea is to receive gently used books, not cast offs.
4. Enlist a volunteer team to sort books. See our Book Sorting Guidelines.
5. A donor in your church may want to give you money to buy new books. The Literacy Connexus website has suggestions for core books. Jo Lee of San Antonio persuaded the manager of a Half Price Books store in her city to donate several boxes of books. Promote the project, the books will come…
6. Next the fun starts. Share what you have received with others in creative and fun ways. A great way to start would be to involve your church in a Books for the Border and Beyond project.
For additional help with setting up your book bank, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (817 696-9898). In addition, please share your progress with us. We want to partner with you to provide books.