Prologue

Our Story Begins 

The Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project

The Baltimore Elementary and Middle School Library Project (Library Project) is a multi-year, collaborative effort to design, build, equip, and staff new or renovated elementary/middle school libraries in high-poverty neighborhoods where many students face academic challenges.

This project engages leaders from multiple organizations and across sectors for the greater good of the community. Each library is a well-designed, well-made, flexible and durable space that includes a vast array of new products and features. These include flexible book shelving, e-readers, computers and other technological instructional devices, an “Enoch Pratt Parent Place” for parents/guardians, informal reading areas, and separate areas for study and research, instruction, and group discussion.

The Weinberg Foundation and its partners hope that a fun, safe and enlightening space such as the libraries in this project will contribute to children’s love of books and will help them to develop critical reading and thinking skills. Such belief stems from the findings of nationwide studies that show positive correlations between school libraries and academic achievement. More so, our dream is that these spaces will engage the entire family and community more directly in the schools through partnerships with extracurricular programs, including a wide array of community partners.

In addition, the Foundation contributes four years of operating funds for a staff position, the Maryland Food Bank’s backpack program, and professional development, and also brings in other nonprofit organizations in order to support the school.