"We used the power of community crowdsourcing like Pledgecents, and people heard about our cause and they wanted to help. So they donated funds so that we could purchase new books, and not just wipe the dust off of the old books," Jerilyn Dressler, the Friends' board president, said.
The library has actually been open since November.
Catherine Vernon, a retired teacher hired as the library coordinator, works two-and-a-half days a week. She has seen students transformed.
"Before, I didn't like to read. But then I do. Because they've got some interesting books. Books that have pictures, books that don't. Books that interest me, books that don't," he said.
Philadelphia has fewer than a dozen full-time certified librarians. Superintendent William Hite says community fundraising is one path to getting schools what they need.
"We don't fund it correctly, right? We don't fund it fairly," shje said. "We don't make sure that funds get to the schools that need it most. And Pennsylvania has a lot of work to do in this area."
Until then, Dressler says she hopes Bache-Martin can serve as a model for other schools seeking to fill needs.