Carolina Library Community building project kicks off! SILS, UNC Libraries join to build a house for Habitat for Humanity Orange County

October 1, 2010

Build a block graphic

A kick-off meeting that shared information about a joint project for Habitat for Humanity of Orange County between the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and the University Libraries was held Sept. 23, 2010 in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of the Wilson Library. The project, called the Carolina Library Community, is part of the campus-wide UNC Class of 2011 Build a Block project which is a student-led initiative to build ten houses for families of UNC staff over the 2010-2011 academic school year.

Library staff and student workers; faculty, staff, students and alumni from SILS; and library friends from campus and the community are invited to contribute to the construction of a house for a family in need. Those involved in the Carolina Library Community project will need to raise $35,000 and provide 2,000 hours of labor during the 2010-11 academic year.

Sarah Michalak, university librarian and associate provost for university libraries; and Gary Marchionini, SILS dean and Cary C. Boshamer distinguished professor, were on hand to support the project.

“When Dean Marchionini and I learned that 85 percent of the applicants for Habitat homes in Chapel Hill are UNC and hospital employees, we knew right away that library people and our friends would want to make this kind of contribution to the community,” said Michalak. “We’ve heard nothing but enthusiasm for the project.”

“We are delighted to collaborate on such an important project that will result in a home for someone in need,” said Marchionini. “Volunteering time or helping with the fundraising needed for the project are of equal importance. Those who volunteer may wish to ask friends, relatives or neighbors if they might sponsor hours as part of the fundraising effort.”

There is already excitement around the project. “Over 90 people from the SILS and Library communities have expressed interest in helping with the effort,” says Tyler Dzuba, SILS master’s student, president of ILSSA and a Carolina Library Community project liaison. “It’s remarkable to see the UNC community band around such an important cause; we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

Volunteers may sign up individually, with a Carolina Library Community group, or both!

Building days are Friday afternoons from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and two four hour blocks on Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Full-time UNC employees who sign-up for Friday afternoon building may use their “Community Leave” time offered by the University (check with your Human Resources manager for details and your manager for approval).  In addition to volunteering individually, a few group build days have been selected. They include:

  • Saturday, October 16 (SILS faculty, staff and students)
  • Friday, November 12 (Library administration)
  • Saturday, November 20 (UNC Libraries and SILS)

Members of the Carolina Library Community interested in working on the building may sign up on the Build a Block Web site at:  Once you’re at the site, click on the Volunteer link at the top of the page. You can EASILY set up a user account and see what builds are available at the Phoenix Place site. The Carolina Library Community join code is 69.

If you wish to donate to the project, please select the link to donate at the top of the Build a Block Web page. This will take you to a secure form to donate by credit card. If you choose to donate this way, be sure to select Carolina Library Community under "My gift supports a Habitat Champion!" If you don't, the money will still go to Habitat for Humanity, but it will not be credited to the Library Community effort.
If you want to donate by check, that's great, too! Make any checks out to “Habitat for Humanity of Orange County” (NOT to UNC, the Library or to SILS), add a memo that the funds are for the Carolina Library Community. You may send checks or drop them off at either the SILS Administrative Office at Manning Hall or to the Library Administration Office in Davis Library.

For more information about the Carolina Library Community project, contact one of the following individuals:

• Tyler Dzuba, president, Information and Library Science Student Association, SILS,
• Ashlee Edwards, president, Information Science Student Undergraduates Empowered (ISSUE), SILS,
• Peggy Myers, University Library,, 919-843-5651
• Lara Bailey, or Susan Sylvester,, SILS, 919-962-8266

Related links
UNC Build a Block project
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County