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Idearc Media donated the grant and dedicated numerous man-hours from 40 volunteers to help refurbish the space as part of the Idearc Media American Library Association Reading Renovation Volunteer Project.
As the publishing company for the Verizon Yellow Pages and home to Superpages.com, Idearc wanted to expand their philanthropic work beyond the boardroom.
“A lot of our employees wanted to do something that’s a little more hands on,” Debbie Johnson, manager of media relations at Idearc, said.
Inspired by Habitat for Humanity, Johnson said the company decided to mimic their work with a literary twist.
In late 2006, Idearc donated $95,000 to the American Library Association, which in turn, led to the refurbishment of four libraries across the country.
Wanting to work in the Bronx, the source of many of their advertisements and home to several employees, Idearc asked for a site recommendation in the area.
Upon hearing the news of their selection, Soundview’s supervising branch librarian Olive Baker said, “I was delighted. You don’t often get gifts like that.”
For two days Idearc volunteers cleaned and refurbished the aging library, including a repainting of areas in bad need of a new coat, and a long awaited cleaning.
“I have to say these volunteers really worked,” Baker explained. “The library’s sparkling clean.”
Much of the funds went to updating the children’s section, with the addition of a Bronx Zoo themed rug, purchased for $1,000, and four large beanbag chairs.
“The only problem is kids will sit there reading and before we know it, they’re fast asleep,” Baker said about a seemingly great problem to have.
Adding a sense of adventure to the room, several of Idearc’s talented artists painted seven animal murals on 24 x 36 inch canvasses for the walls.
“That’s been the most exciting thing that’s happened,” Johnson said about the area’s new bursts of color. “It totally changes the look of the whole space.”
Idearc also donated 2,000 children’s books, which Baker said Soundview would distribute to kids at a ceremony to thank the company for their outstanding efforts and kick off the library’s summer reading program.
Johnson said she’s proud to be a part of the project and looks forward for her next library revamp. “This whole project has been really amazing.”
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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