Fact, Fiction, First Fridays

Wheels clatter down the hall, metal shelves carrying a forest of imagination. West Johnston is entering its second semester of the book cart, otherwise known as First Friday, hosted by librarians Yvette Davis and Anissa Holm.

The book cart saw its debut as a West Johnston tradition during the second semester of the 2016-2017 school year. Every first Friday, the school’s two librarians make their way to each English class to bring books right to the students. The librarians feel students may wish to come to the library to check out books and read, but are unable to or choose not to. With First Fridays, they have seen great results, averaging 160 books in circulation each month. The librarians wish to do more than encourage reading, however – they also wish to become better acquainted with the student body. “We wanted a way to get out and meet the students,” Holm said.

When asked why they chose Friday to be the day of the book cart, Davis offered a comedic “why not” before proceeding to detail the true reason behind the decision. Holm and Davis felt Fridays were the best choice, as they are often centered in excitement and provide a weekend in which students can begin reading their new books provided the perfect timing, where as students may be too busy to on standard week nights. Their decision to utilize the first Friday was due to alliteration.

Each month the theme of the book cart changes. Often times the theme will be effected by the month, such as a focus on African American literature in African American History Month (February) or poetry in National Poetry Month (April). Other themes may be nonspecific, such as mystery or romance, their teacher assistants occasionally pitching in with the theme. Holm and Davis try to ensure that the only books placed on the cart are ones which they have read and enjoyed. They are considering opening themselves to student feedback in theme and book selection to greater offer stories students may be interested in.