On 1 March 2010 a new project was launched at 20 Roeland Street, Cape Town: ‘The Bookery- Home of the Equal Education Book Drive’. The Bookery is a depot where books suitable for either primary or secondary school learners can be donated. With the help of a committed team of volunteers, donated books that are up-to-date and in good condition are sorted, shelved, covered, labelled and catalogued using the latest computer software. The Bookery is now independent, a sister organisation to EE.
The staff and volunteers use a 2 pronged approach. They actively identify schools which would benefit from the Bookery Project as well as have an open application process. All schools considered have two basic elements: an existing formal structure which will be used exclusively for the purposes of a library (i.e. it must fall into the 13% of public schools in South Africa with an existing library space but no books); and a member of staff committed to taking on the role of librarian. During the collection process, The Bookery team works closely with the librarian-in-waiting, as well as learners and other educators from the school. This allows them to better gauge the appropriate levels and areas of interest required by the school’s readership.
Each library established by The Bookery contains a minimum of three books per learner, and caters to the needs and interests of the school’s readership through a comprehensive selection of fiction, non-fiction and reference works. Established libraries are suitably furnished (allowing for space for future growth). The Bookery ensures that it contains a computer with the appropriate software, and that it is a warm and inviting space.