FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Lantern would like to inform the community with regret that the last day of its Lantern Reading Room will be on Monday, February 25, 2013.
The Reading Room in Oak Terrace was conceived as a short-term pilot project to test its viability as a library-related program for the Chinatown community. It was funded through a one-time grant from the Barr Foundation; the funds were raised by the Chinatown Lantern Educational and Cultural Center, previously known as the Friends of the Chinatown Library. Unfortunately, maintaining the reading room beyond the pilot phase requires more in time and resources than is available without detracting from the main goal. Be assured that the Lantern will continue working toward the goal of a permanent cultural and educational facility in Chinatown, which will include a reading room and library services.
During the ten-month pilot, the Lantern Reading Room saw over 5,000 visitors and circulated books to 250 library cardholders from the community. It provided sixteen courses in basic computer literacy and English conversation practice that served more than 100 students, as well as more than 60 hours of youth and children�s programs in storytelling, chess and checkers, and homework tutoring. This was made possible by over 1,000 hours of volunteer time put in by more than 100 dedicated volunteers.
The Lantern committee is grateful for all the help and support it has received during this pilot program. It would like to thank the Chinatown Coalition for sponsoring the Lantern, the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) for providing a room at Oak Terrace, the numerous donors who donated money, equipment and books to the Reading Room, the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center for providing staff support and acting as the fiscal agent of the Lantern project, the Boston Public Library for extending its book borrowing services to the Reading Room, and the volunteers who helped with the setup of the Reading Room and staffed programs.
While the Lantern will continues its work towards a permanent facility, ACDC is encouraging residents of Oak Terrace to volunteer to keep the space open as a resident reading room. Some books -- especially children's books -- will be left in the resident reading room while the majority of the books will be stored in preparation for the permanent facility.
We welcome all who are interested in a permanent cultural and educational facility for Chinatown to volunteer their time and services. Please refer to our website at chinatownlantern.org
for contacts and updates.