The Antelope Lending Library (a 501(c)3 organization) will be a small community library located on the Southeast side of Iowa City. Iowa City is a UNESCO City of Literature—the only one in the United States—but not everyone has equal opportunity to participate in community and literary events. The population on the Southeast side is largely immigrant and lower-income families. For the children growing up on the Southeast side downtown is a destination for special trips, not a common occurrence. By having a library in a place where children can walk on their own after school, we increase their chances to participate in events and activities designed to promote literacy and learning. The skills we foster at the Antelope Lending Library empowers students to take control of their own futures.
For more information go to AntelopeLendingLibrary.org.
The Antelope Lending Library will be within walking distance of 4 elementary schools, 1 junior high, 2 high schools, and one community college. It will be located in a mall where many in the community already visit regularly to shop, eat, or see a movie. This location is great because people don't need to plan a special trip to visit the library: they can just stop by after a matinee or before dinner.
But it isn't just about convenience. Many kids in this area come from single parent homes or homes where both parents may work multiple jobs. It is not reasonable to expect these parents to drive their kids downtown and search and pay for a parking spot to help increase their children's reading skills.
Who is Behind the Library?
The library was an idea first acted upon by Cassandra Elton, a current graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. She has received local support from the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, the Iowa Youth Writing Project, Public Space One, and Reclaiming Roots, as well as librarians and educators in the Iowa City Community School District and Kirkwood Community College.
The library will be mainly staffed by a core group of library and information science graduate students, along with help from other volunteers. Working in the Antelope Lending Library will give these students the opportunity to apply the important skills they are learning in class as well as make a positive impact in their community.
The Antelope Lending Library is a James Gang Endeavor. To see other James Gang Endeavors visit www.thejamesgang.ws.
What We Need & What You Get
We need money to fund one year of rent and utilities for a 4,000 square foot store front in the Sycamore Mall. The mall management has graciously agreed to rent us space at a fraction of retail price, but we still need outside support to reach our goal. For $20,000 we can house our project for one year. We already have outside community support to supply books, but we need some place to put them! Please help us open our doors with your contributions.
In exchange for your donations, you can receive many different thank you gifts, enumerated along the right-hand side of our IndieGoGo fundraising page. From $10-$1,000, there is something for everyone. And remember, while the perks might be fun, that isn't the end goal of this fundraiser: do it for the kids.
Below, you can see the one-of-a-kind ceramic mug (yours with a $150 contribution) and unique ceramic pendant (yours with a $75 contribution) donated by artists Ashely and Roberto Lugo, and hand-knit cap (yours with a $65 donation) donated by Kathryn Heffner. These are just three of the many perks we are offering to you, our faithful supporters.
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you can't donate financially, please help us get the word out about our project. Post our video on Facebook or Twitter, talk about us on your blog or send out an email to friends and family. We can't do this without you! If you have questions about getting involved in this way, please contact email@example.com.