On July 12, the Southern Lit Alliance will be revitalizing the library at the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute.
"The library at Moccasin Bend has not been updated in decades and is in urgent need of a makeover. Most of the resources available in the library are outdated and in disrepair," officials said.
On July 12, MBMHI and So Lit staff, with a host of volunteers, will work from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. to remove out-of-date resources to make room for current and relevant books and media.
In addition to updating the inventory, So Lit and the Chattanooga Public Library will advise MBMHI as they implement a sustainable plan for library organization and plan for a future technology training lab.
Later in July, So Lit will be hosting a library drive for MBMHI. Accepted subjects, titles, and authors, as well as a book “wish list” are outlined on So Lit’s website. To assist with the book drive, local indie bookseller Star Line Books will coordinate a patron challenge to purchase at least 25 books for MBMHI. If the goal of 25 is met, Star Line Book will match the donation. The challenge begins on Friday, June 24.
Johnny Payne, adjunctive therapist at MBMHI, says "The MBMHI Library has long served as an important treatment tool for patients. Access to modern information resources presents an opportunity for mental health patients to develop healthy life habits, receive career training, inspiration from story, and escape from difficult life experiences. However, the current library houses a collection of resources which are mostly out of date, not of interest to patients, and disorganized. This holds the library back from functioning as a productive treatment tool for patients. With the help of our community, our patients will regain this valuable treatment tool for treatment and life success.”
Darcy Welch, executive director of Southern Lit Alliance, looks forward to the project, stating that “So Lit is pleased to develop a partnership with Moccasin Bend and we are proud to implement another meaningful project, one that enables us to utilize the transcendent power of literature to connect and inspire often overlooked members of our community.”
"So Lit will need all the help they can get to tackle such a hefty project. They are looking for enthusiastic, goal-oriented volunteers for this high-impact project. Participants will only be interacting with MBMHI and So Lit staff. Tasks include sorting and discarding old, out-of-date books, general clean-up, and reorganization of the library. Volunteers may sign up for morning, afternoon, or full-day shifts," officials said.
If you are interested in volunteering, visit the posting on the Center for Nonprofit volunteer site, www.ihelpchattanooga.org