Judith’s Reading Room
|Jairo Hernandez Velasquez
, a nonprofit organization based in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, is dedicated to “spreading the word of freedom through literacy.” The group provides custom libraries and book carts to people and communities with limited access to books.
Those services have set up 58 libraries in 11 countries and six states, using a network of 945 volunteers and $639,000 worth of donated reading material.
But volunteers had a tough time knowing what was in their inventory—which made it hard to provide a customized library.
Judith’s Reading Room President Cathy Lieber approached Jairo Hernandez Velasquez for help. He is a database administrator at the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, located more than 2000 miles away from Lehigh Valley. With Velasquez as project lead, the college provided a database solution and the time needed to reengineer it to the reading room’s needs.
The solution came from The Young Education and Technology Center at the college. The YETC also had a large inventory to keep track of—and it had developed its own cataloging system. YETC director Nathan Smith faced a similar challenge years ago, when the library’s collection was first created. Smith developed his own database, and one of his students later revamped it. Read more on the EEJ Ed Notes blog.