Queen's University

Living in the library for literacy

 
2011-01-24
[Kaleigh Smith and Grace Chen will live in the library for one week]Grace Chen (left) and Kaleigh Smith move into Stauffer Library on Jan. 27.

During exams, many students say they “live” at the library. This week, two students will actually move into Stauffer Library as part a campaign to raise funds and awareness about literacy around the world.

Kaleigh Smith and Grace Chen will set up their four-person tent in the Stauffer atrium, where they will live for one week. They will only leave to attend class or for their daily 70-minute break. Friends and volunteers will bring them food and any other items they need.

“I’m finally following up on something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years,” says Ms Smith, a third-year biology student. “Everyone here at university has access to an education, and I really believe that shouldn’t be a privilege for a select few.”

Queen’s Discover the Reality of Educating All Minds (DREAM) team created Live-in For Literacy five years ago. This year, nine universities across the country are taking part in the campaign. Their goal is to raise $27,000 to build six libraries in India through Room to Read, an international organization that works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literary skills around the world.

First-year Arts and Science student Grace Chen heard about DREAM and the campaign at an orientation week event and immediately wanted to get involved. She says raising awareness will be the biggest challenge the campers face.

“The main reason we’ll be there is because we want people to stop by our tent and listen to what we’re all about,” says Ms. Chen.

In celebration of the 5th anniversary of the event, Stauffer Library will be serving cake at noon on Friday, Jan. 28. The founders of DREAM, deans from several faculties and library staff will be in attendance, and all members of the Queen's community are welcome.

“We always look forward to hosting Live-in for Literacy in Stauffer Library,” says University Librarian Martha Whitehead. “The students' dream is to spread education and literacy, and what better place for that message than Stauffer? The DREAM team's vision and dedication are truly inspiring. We're delighted they had the idea in the first place and that it has continued and grown.”

The students will be accepting donations in the Stauffer atrium between Jan. 27 and Feb. 3. No donation is too small.

“Every little bit helps,” says Ms Smith. “One dollar is one children’s book in somebody’s hand.”

Get more information or view blogs and live webcam feeds of the campers’ week.
 

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