The final day of Reading Roundup

Hi everyone,

Two days ago marked the end of a campaign that began seventeen years ago. We called ourselves Reading Roundup. We formed to help Springfield Public Schools libraries improve their book collections to meet the highest standards set by the state. We were a small group of like minded members of the community who believed passionately in the necessity of placing quality books into the hands of students. We were always advised by numerous knowledgeable district folks: librarians, supervisors, administrators; but we operated as an independent, grass roots band of seven people or so: Terry Bond, Morey Mechlin, Rex Hansen, Renee Hunt, Jim Troye, Linda Fredrick, and me.

We met monthly for a long time and found all sorts of ways to bring our campaign to the public. The schools needed books! Our Springfield community agreed and we raised a lot of money. The school board pitched in by dramatically increasing its annual budget for books. From 2000-2007 the combined efforts of the district, Reading Roundup volunteers, and others added or replaced more than 190,000 library books costing more than $3.6 million.

When Reading Roundup reached its original goal, we shifted focus to meet specific needs of individual school libraries. Librarians throughout the district began submitting grant requests each year for money to make things better for their own population of students. From 2007-2017 Reading Roundup raised $150,000 to fund or partly fund 180 librarian requests that impacted on 50,000 Springfield Public Schools students.

It’s hard to sustain a fund raising campaign for seventeen years. Over the last few years our donations — the only source of our income — dried up. We could no longer continue and so this year we gave away the last of our money to fund grants, and took down our shingle. These pictures show most of our gang surprising librarians by showing up together on sort of a farewell tour. We loved it. It has been a privilege to work beside so many good people. I’d do it again. But for now, Reading Roundup exists no more.

13 comments on “The final day of Reading Roundup

  1. Sounds like you all did a fantastic job. And who knows? There’s always the future for another possible endeavor!

    • Thank you very much, Deb. Kids who were in kindergarten when we started have now graduated from high school. I hope we played a tiny role in helping some of them on their way.

  2. As a retired Springfield librarian, I thank you for all you did for us when we were building our library collections.

    • Hi, Kristie! It’s good to hear from you, and thank you very much for the compliment. We’ve witnessed many changes during the last seventeen years!

  3. Thank you for your vision, energy, and commitment along with the caring you and your group have given to Springfield Schools, students and staff for years. It is important to have a reminder like this showing how we got where we are, how the help was formed and made to provide such a difference in excellence, support and joy.

    THANK YOU!!! what’s next?

    • How lovely, Maryann. Thank you. It has been a nice, long ride. I guess it’s time to get off. Don’t know if anything else will come along but either way I’ve enjoyed working with the school district under superintendents from Paul Haggerty to Norm Ridder.

  4. Congratulations to you and all involved on a job well done! You have touched countless lives in a very positive way. You should all be very proud of this accomplishment!!

    • Good morning, Sandy, and thank you very much. Between Sky High on Reading and Reading Roundup, we DID have a lot of good times to remember.

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