The library is on the second floor with huge windows where we can view the playground and trees that surround the property. We have reading posters all over our walls celebrating reading, lots of fun cubes and couches to sit on and great display areas to showcase books.
Our students come to the library every week for 30 minutes in grades K-2 and every other week for 60 minutes in grades 3-5. We are also open during all of the recesses for kids to come to find books, read, research, play board games or do homework. It’s a busy place and there’s always a hum of voices in the background.
The SkinnyWhat I love about my work is that I get paid to be a reading and technology cheerleader! I believe that my job is to sell the importance of reading and research. To do that I try to merchandize the “reading product” in fun and engaging ways. I try to make sure my students understand that they are part of a global reading community by taking part in larger activities such as International Dot Day or World Read Aloud Day. We have bright book displays that draw students into the library from the busy hallways.
Why are libraries importantLibraries are vital in schools because they are nurturing the imagineers of our future. Libraries are the place where anyone can freely come to seek information, become engrossed in a book or daydream about what could be. In an age where classroom lessons are becoming increasingly prescripted, the library is one of the few places where creativity has a home. Everyone is trying to find the way to obtain test scores that match or exceed the students in Asia and Finland. In that pursuit of test scores, creativity and innovation is shoved to the side.
Yet, creativity and innovation are the hallmarks of our country. Innovators are developed in libraries where a student can lose themselves in a book or research the background for ideas that are important to them. When we lose libraries, we lose a piece of our future.
Once a year we have a favorite character day. Everyone, students and staff included, is encouraged to dress up as a favorite book character. I have dressed as Little Red Riding Book, Captain Underpants and Viola Swamp.
I’ve had some fabulous opportunities to meet a variety of authors. This fall I was part of Kirby Larson’s book launch for Duke at Third Place Books.
One last big roarI’d like to make a big roar to all the librarians and teachers who come early and stay late to make sure that kids have what they need to be successful. They not only work hard to make a difference for the students in their classrooms and libraries, but they also share their ideas with others. It’s through collaboration that we can learn from one another and strengthen how we teach.
Blog: I would love your visitors to know about the Bulldog Reader’s Blog where I share ideas about books, library lessons and technology. Here is the URL: http://bellbulldogreaders.edublogs.org/
Twitter: I love connecting with other librarians and educators on Twitter where I’m known as @mrs_hembree
Thank you Janet for giving librarians a chance to roar about the importance of reading and libraries!
And thank you Julie for your terrific interview!
Love Libraries? Give a Roar in “Comments” below.
Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org for an interview slot.