Pequot Lakes middle and high school students are borrowing more than just books and technology from their school's library media center. The library is now checking out formal and career fashion wear, just like books.
Offerings include black ties, prom dresses, tuxedos and career clothes. The Library Fashion Closet was borne out of the New York Public Library's Career Closet idea, which loans career clothes, including items such as belts, satchels, suit coats and all of those one-time items many people might have trouble accessing before landing a job interview.
"NYPL saw a need and fulfilled it," said Sheri Levasseur, Pequot Lakes School District teacher/librarian. "Not all of our students are interviewing for jobs, but we have speech meets, band and choir concerts, and then there are the dances."
After only a couple of months of preparation and some social media promotion, the backroom of the Pequot Lakes Middle School/High School Library is home to three bureau closets full of colorful, fashionable career clothes for speech meets, band and choir concerts, job interviews, religious events or any special occasion.
These items are all donations from the community.
"I could not believe the support that came forward with just a few social media posts. Not only did people in our community cheer us on, our closets filled up with donations within the first month," Levasseur said.
Clothes are available in all sizes, from boys and girls sizes 12 to men and women adult sizes. Shoes, belts and accessories are available to check out as well.
Students looking to borrow clothes simply need to visit the library, browse through the fashion closets in the backroom and check out the items just like a book with library staff. Students may try on their selections before taking them home and can customize their loan period, based on need. The Pequot Lakes High School Fashion Club launders all clothes once returned.
"We are still looking for more donations, particularly black pants and white shirts in all sizes for our music program kids," Levasseur said, noting she hopes to find a dry cleaning sponsor for returned formal attire.
For more information on how to borrow from or support the Pequot Lakes Middle and High School Library Fashion Closet, email firstname.lastname@example.org.