Bookmobile for Flood Ravaged Elementary School

Lonna Pierce, Teacher-Librarian, Binghamton City School District

placeholder imageThe SLST-East, sponsors of the 2012 NYLA/SLMS Conference, and attendees were treated to a surprise at the Knickerbocker Banquet on Friday night, May 4, 2012. Two Binghamton University students delivered a bookmobile to MacArthur Elementary School Librarian, Lonna Pierce, at the conference site, Binghamton’s Riverwalk Hotel and Conference Center.  Students of the BU School of Management, Price Waterhouse Cooper Scholars Program ( had  refurbished the donated bus in a year-long project of the PwC honor students.  They exceeded their fundraising goal by 131%, and generously transformed the old hospital E450 bus into a bookmobile, since MacArthur lost its entire school to a flood last September. Pierce has been operating her “library” out of a closet and on carts in their temporary locations of two former Catholic schools. Children will now be able to check out books at both schools, which was not possible to date.

Key leaders of the enormous effort were Katie Orr and Theo Baktidy, students who both gave heart and soul to the project, and handed the keys to Pierce to a standing ovation from the crowd of NY librarians. Conference goers then went outside the hotel to see the bookmobile for themselves and admire the Folkmanis puppets that adorned the built-in shelves, crafted by the student volunteers. MacArthur students were joyful when 150 PwC scholars came earlier on May 4 to deliver it and run an arts & crafts fun day for the kids. Children also decorated the bookmobile with their colorful hand-prints. MacArthur Elementary now has a mobile library, many thanks to the caring, hardworking students at Binghamton University!