Inside look at “The Book Nook”


Clay Stone

Allen's grant was enough to purchase 250 books. "I want to read all of these," she said.

As a child, she never wanted to leave the library, now she’s starting her very own. In June, English teacher Jami Allen received an email telling her that she had received a $2000 grant for books. “I honestly thought it was a gag email,” said Allen. “But then I read a little closer… and I’m pretty sure I yelled really loud.”

She had started the application process for this grant almost five months earlier. School librarian Sky Seery found a Twitter poll advertising the grant and knew Allen would be interested. “I had to have some recommendation letters, and I had to write and apply to tell them what we were doing and why,” Allen said. She had never applied for a grant before, nor did she really expect to receive this one, but she wanted the experience of applying for it. “The hardest part was really reading closely, to make sure I was getting everything and understanding what they wanted.”

Pullquote Photo

This place is available for all students, you don’t have to be a junior or a senior.”

— Jami Allen

This grant sponsored the purchase of 250 books for Allen’s second-year project, “The Book Nook”. Her hope is that it will encourage readers to find books that they like and share them with their friends. She doesn’t mind if they take several or keep them for longer than the library due date. Allen doesn’t even want them checked out. “It’s like a little street library, if you like a book, you can take a book,” she said. “The Book Nook” is located in the 2400’s pod in between Allen’s room and fellow English teacher Ashley Werkmeister’s room.

“When I was a kid, I really liked books,” said Allen. “I would always check out way more than I was supposed to from the library. The librarians knew me… so they let me take too many.” Allen really wants students to obtain a love for reading, so she has broken down some of the obstacles with no fines or checkouts, or even book limits. You don’t have to know the English teachers to make use of this little library, you can just go in and have a look for yourself. And if you see something you like, go ahead and take it.


Clay Stone
“I got to pick books that I thought kids would like, and I really wanted to aim for diversity,” said Allen. She ordered the books this summer after receiving an email from the Book Love Foundation.

“I always wanted to start my own library, but as an adult, my husband is not as into books as I am. They also take up a lot of space,” Allen said. This pod is one way that she can finally achieve this lifelong desire, and benefit the whole school. The books will likely be sorted by the end of the month, so when you get the chance go “check out” Allen’s dream come true.