MLIS Alum Brings Library on Wheels to Displaced Middle School Students

iSchool MLIS alumna Sue Kowalski treks around the East Syracuse Minoa School District with Ms. Lindy, an RV-turned-bookmobile.

By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

When Pine Grove Middle School in East Syracuse closed this fall for two years of renovations, students were scattered to six different school buildings throughout the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District.

In order to provide library support for relocated students during the construction period, Pine Grove librarian and School of Information Studies (iSchool) alumna Sue Kowalski decided to take the library on the road. She purchased an RV with her own funds, including monies received from her Carnegie/NY Times “I Love My Librarian” award, and put her program in gear.

The RV, dubbed “Ms. Lindy,” is outfitted with books, and makes the rounds of the district buildings where students are temporarily placed.

 
  Sue Kowalski, Pine Grove Middle School Librarian

“Our library team is on a constant mission to connect students to books, authors, and reading,” explained Kowalski. “Ms. Lindy, the bookmobile, is just another innovative way to make finding the perfect book a unique and memorable experience.”

Earlier this month, Kowalski and Pine Grove submitted their library-on-wheels program idea to the Follett Challenge, a contest with prize monies available to educators and schools who create a pitch and short video showcasing their innovative curriculum program and the positive impact it has had on their school. 

From January 19–30, the Follett Challenge is open for public voting. Ten entries with the highest number of votes will each receive $8,000 in the People's Choice segment of the contest.

“We feel our mobile library program and other district initiatives exemplify ‘Empowering Innovation’ and would appreciate some support for the people’s choice portion of the voting,” said Kowalski.

To view and vote for Pine Grove’s entry, visit their Follett Challenge page.