Literacy Connexus Book Banks
5 Questions with Lester Meriwether, executive director.
1. Tell us about the Literacy Connexus book banks concept, how does the program work?
The concept is simple and similar to how a food bank operates. New and gently-used books come in through donations; they are sorted by volunteers, and then shared with those who lack books at home. Books may be shared through any type of event or program that serves underprivileged children and families. Books are targeted for children, from birth through high school age.
2. How many book banks are there now?
Book banks are currently located at
• Western Hills Baptist Church, Fort Worth
• Center of Hope, Weatherford
• Royal Haven Baptist Church, Farmers Branch
• Calvary Baptist Church, Waco
• First Baptist Church, Conroe
• First Baptist Church, Del Rio
Many more book banks are needed in Fort Worth and across Texas!
3. Who staffs and maintains the book banks?
Book banks are managed by local volunteers. They require minimal staffing—one person to serve as a point of contact and a handful of volunteers to sort books and help with receiving and distributing, as needed.
4. How can the community support the book banks?
A successful book bank is like a revolving door; books go in and out before they have a chance to gather dust. Communities can help this to happen by spreading the word about their existence and benefits, and by using the book bank as a resource to connect kids with books at every opportunity. Schools, churches, and businesses can contribute to their local book bank by conducting book drives; as simple as positioning a box with a sign and publicizing the event. These same types of organizations—and individuals—can withdraw books to distribute through homeless shelters, summer meals programs, family reading fairs, back-to-school events, benevolent agencies, and other means.
5. Can I open a book bank at my church, school or community center?
Yes, yes, and yes. If you have space and shelves, all you need is someone willing to serve as book bank director. Contact us for help in getting started!
For more information on the Literacy Connexus Book Banks contact:
Lester Meriwether, Executive Director