Library Response Team goes into action

Adriel wakk dispaly

LRT volunteer Adriel Wilson with a wall display showing all 17 W2R projects in BC.

Write to Read project leaderr Bob Blacker likes to call them “alert.” They are the members of the Library Response Team, or LRT. These are the librarians who are the backbone of the aboriginal literacy initiative now known as Write to Read. Adriel Wilson is one of them.

“We don’t just show up with boxes of books in a First Nations community,” she said during the W2R team’s recent visit to Ditidaht. “There is a process we go through. First, books need to be donated. Then we go through all the books for suitability. For instance, any medical book that I more than ten years old, we through it out. Medical improvements mean that a lot of old information is outdated. Very popular are “how to” books, because that’s what many of our readers want.”

Even though there is no formal W2R library established yet in Ditidaht (that’s why the W2R team went to Ditidaht in the first place) it turns out that the back of Wilson’s truck had a box of books. Many boxes, in fact.

“I just love to read,” said Wilson, a retired teacher, “and people are always giving me books. I sort through them all, removing titles that are not of interest to the communities we visit, and dumping books that are worn out. Just about everything ends up getting recycled.”

Aside from collecting and sorting books, the LRT team sets up a catalogue system with each community that is involved in W2R, and works with a volunteer librarian to keep track of books that are lent out. In Ditidaht, one member of the community has already indicated an interest in acting as librarian, even though there is no library yet. The old school in the village may serve as a good site for a library, but it will need to be refurbished. In the meantime, the LRT is collecting books for when the library will open, probably in the summer.

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