For year one of the project, Baltimore City Public Schools identified elementary/middle schools that had completed or had started the QZAB process and needed additional resources to complete their project. The Weinberg Foundation visited each proposed school and selected three QZAB funded locations based on the following criteria:
- Needing additional financial resources
- Considered a growing school not at risk of school closure
- Committed to the expansion of the library and its integration into the curriculum, demonstrated by funding a full-time librarian.
The schools selected for year one of the project were Moravia Park Elementary/Middle, Southwest Baltimore Charter School, and Thomas Johnson Elementary/Middle. Arlington Elementary/Middle, East Baltimore Community School (funded outside of the QZAB process), and The Historic Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Elementary School were selected as year two schools.
Kirk Design and JRS Architects are responsible for developing and overseeing the integration of the concept design into the construction documents and are assisting the City Schools Facilities Department with managing the completion of the libraries. The office of Media Library Services also plays a critical role in the success of each project.
In regards to finances, the Weinberg Foundation will support up to 30% of the actual costs of each library. Through a separate contract, the Foundation will also provide an operating grant for up to four years to increase staff support in the library and provide additional professional development opportunities for each librarian. Each school community will also commit volunteer hours of parents and community members to the project to ensure the library is utilized and valued by all.
In addition to these resources, the Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project will maximize partnerships to bring added value to this initiative. A range of partners will breathe new life into the library: corporate and individual underwriters, children’s book publishers, product and technology manufacturers, media outlets, bookstores, public libraries, design companies, educators, and of course, the administrators, teachers, parents and guardians, and students in the schools. Please see our Project Partners for more details.