By Benay Hicks, Communications Manager
March 4, 2021
Book Harvest is a community organization and it’s important for us to touch base with you – our Book Harvest friends and family – to ensure we are responding to community needs to the best of our ability. In January, 69 of you responded to a survey regarding Book Harvest (thank you!). We are grateful for the responses and wanted to share the results with you.
See below for feedback we’re celebrating, feedback we heard, and initiatives we already have in motion!
What We’re Celebrating:
“We believe in the work of Book Harvest and had books we wanted to donate. And our kids love getting to see different book characters when we go to events. We have not actually intended with the primary goal of getting new books, but when we have gotten books the kids have loved them (they have been really quality and fun books).”
“[Dream Big was a] pandemic-safe way to keep our kids excited about reading. It was so great to get them out of the house see smiling people and characters, to get their own bag and books was so great. Our family really thanks all of those who made this happen. It may seem small or simple to you, but it makes a huge difference in affording a better future!”
“I am borrowing and recycling books to Book Harvest once read by my son. He is studying in Forest View elementary school, second grade. His reading level is middle school. All because of free books which we have taken it from Book Harvest.”
“[Book Harvest has done well] providing books with characters from underrepresented or minorities – sending FUN, energizing, positive emails and campaign info.”
“They have done an outstanding job meeting people where they are in the community. They are innovative and make sure that parents have access to resources as well!”
Feedback We Heard:
Better book variety in pre-packed bags: “I would love to see more nonfiction books added into the selection for distribution. Biographies and history type books.”
“More ‘classical’ books. Many of the older children’s books were comic-like and my child and I did not prefer that.”
More communication about our work: “Perhaps getting the word out even more about the breadth of what Book Harvest does.”
“I honestly cannot think of anything to improve other than maybe advertising/broadcasting the message of the good things you are doing in the community.”
Better accessibility: “The location is a little far from my house. That keeps me from going as often as I would like.”
“Maybe stock a few of the little libraries in areas in which the parents or grandparents might not be able to drive to the Book Harvest location for books.”
“Small free ‘libraries’?”
What We Are Doing:
Communication: We are updating our website and continuously looking at ways to show you what we do. For instance, did you know that our Book Babies literacy coaches work with children from birth to age 5? And that we provide Pre-K/K transition assistance? Here are some quick & fast links to show you what we do:
Bringing book choice back! When the pandemic hit, we started creating pre-packaged bags of books for families to grab during events. This prevented close-quarter crowding at bookshelves and enabled families to get books safely. We now feel comfortable hosting two outdoor bookshelves at our headquarters in Durham, where families can once again choose their books! The bookshelves are stocked regularly with books in English and Spanish for ages 0-18. Take as many as you’d like home to keep.
Accessibility: We are excited to be in the early stages of filling the community with book boxes that will be stocked by Book Harvest. We have two one at the Downtown Durham Bus Station and one at El Futuro in Durham! More coming soon!