Sunday, February 01, 2015

Inky Article on School Libraries

Kristen A. Graham wrote an excellent article in today's Inquirer on school libraries and librarians (and the lack thereof) called Shelved.  For a few years when my kids were in elementary school I would volunteer in the school library for an hour a week.  The support staff person in the library didn't start work until an hour after school started.  Most other days of the week a parent would come in and volunteer for that hour.  I was impressed with the work the librarians did, not having given much thought about school libraries since I had been in school myself.  They read to the younger kids, taught the older ones about plagiarism and copyright issues, research skills, evaluating sources, and things like Power Point.  Students of all ages learned how to find books and how to evaluate them.  I wasn't introduced to most of those items until college.

The parent volunteer worked the circulation desk, checking books in and out and shelving returned books.  I got to know a lot of students that way.  Once or twice a  year a stack of bookmarks would appear and the kids would get very excited about them.  I took a cue from this and would look for opportunities to make bookmarks for a kid's classroom.  (One year one of the kids was in room 314 -- I made them special bookmarks for Pi Day).  The teachers were always receptive to this.

School libraries can make a real difference in the life of the students.  Look at any school or school system that is considered a "good school" and see if it has a school library with a certified librarian.  I think any school you would want to send you child to is likely to have both.  

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