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Hampton/Shaler

Blessed Trinity Academy library getting renovated

| Friday, April 27, 2018, 2:45 p.m.
Ryan Setzenfand and Jessica Schwartz, members of Fox Chapel Area High School’s Global Outreach Club, collected books that are no longer needed to send to Botswana.
Ryan Setzenfand and Jessica Schwartz, members of Fox Chapel Area High School’s Global Outreach Club, collected books that are no longer needed to send to Botswana.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 560 helped transport loads of books to Blessed Trinity Academy.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 560 helped transport loads of books to Blessed Trinity Academy.

Blessed Trinity Academy is turning the page on its old library.

When three North Hills Regional Catholic Elementary Schools — St. Ursula, St. Mary and St. Bonaventure — merged last year to form the K-8 academy, they brought their old, dusty tomes with them.

“The library that we walked into was a library of the past,” Principal Jessica Rock says. “Libraries today are so much different; they are places of collaboration where students can relax and read or do research.”

The building on Middle Road in Glenshaw houses tens of thousands of titles. Since last fall, volunteers, including Ingrid Kalchthaler and Jill Millard of Shaler North Hills Library, have been sorting through the stacks, discarding outdated information and re-organizing the salvaged books.

Boy Scouts from Troop 560, which is based at St. Bonaventure, are bulking up by transporting the heavy volumes to and from the St. Mary-campus. Another Boy Scout, Christian Harper, is crafting furniture and painting murals on the library walls to help earn his Eagle Scout Award, the organization's highest honor.

Fox Chapel Area High School junior Ryan Setzenfand, a member of the school's Global Outreach Club, is spearheading a project to redistribute hundreds of books to a library in Botswana, a country in Southern Africa.

Parent-volunteer Amy Hill, of Glenshaw, mobilized the community effort.

“I feel the library project is important to many people at the school,” says Hill, whose two children attend Blessed Trinity. “Having an updated library will allow the children more topics to choose from and hopefully increase their love to read. “

Blessed Trinity's entire literary collection will be digitized and its technology upgraded thanks to a $4,000 matching-grant from the Shaler Area Rotary and a $5,600 contribution from the Mary Ellis Schmitt Memorial Library Fund.

“Our goal is to set up a new computer station with all the accessories,” says Dr. Clint Cable, a member of the Rotary which serves Shaler, Millvale and Etna.

More than 200 students, including children from Blessed Trinity's Early Childhood Center for pre-kindergarten, located at the St. Bonaventure-Mt. Royal Campus, will have access to the new-and-improved library.

Rock hopes to throw a grand re-opening celebration at the beginning of the next school year, but there's still a big task at hand before the party starts: labeling and cataloging each book. Volunteers, as well as monetary donations to the library fund, are always welcome and appreciated.

Even in the age of instant Internet searches, Rock says it's important to have a brick-and-mortar library.

“This is factual information and this is good information,” she says.

For more information on Blessed Trinity Academy, visit nhrces.org/trinity.

Kristy Locklin is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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