I’m so fortunate to have the help of my lovely parent volunteers at Woodville. They help me out with library tasks like shelving and organizing, which leaves me time for instructional and program planning. My volunteers get a front row seat to the happenings of the Learning Commons. These parent volunteers have great insight into the Library Media program, but they are only a small portion of the Woodville community. Below, I’ve tried to answer some of the questions I’ve been asked lately about the library policies and procedures.
The Library Media program has undergone a transition as I am the first MA Certified School Library Teacher to hold the position in 10 years. As the Library Media program continues to grow and evolve, I hope you will be patient and direct questions or concerns to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the limits on book checkout?
K students may checkout 1 book at a time. Students in grades 1-4 may checkout 2 books at a time.
Are there library fines?
There are no overdue fines. There are fines for damaged and lost books, however. If a book is lost or damaged (watch those water bottles in backpacks!), parents can pay the replacement cost or buy a copy of the same book in the same format (i.e., a new hardcover book to replace a lost hardcover) to give to the library. If you opt to pay for a lost book, please make the check out to the Woodville PTO.
Where do missing library books like to hide?
Their very favorite places are backpacks and school desks. You might also need to look on bookshelves with the books you own, under beds, behind dressers, in cars, in classroom book tubs, in classroom book boxes, and in brother/sister's bedrooms.
Do you tell students what they can and cannot check out?
I never tell students they are not allowed to check a book out. I try to guide students to books that are “just right” for them--not too hard, not too easy, but just right. The best way to make sure your students are checking out books that are just right for them in reading level and content is to check their backpack and read with them. We encourage students to share what they are reading with their families. If you do not believe a book is appropriate for your child, he/she can return it and trade it for another book.
My student said they looked a book up using the online catalog, but when they went to the shelf it wasn’t there. I thought the library was re-organized?
Yes, the location of the books and the floorplan of the library has changed. However, the collection is the same collection it was last year, and for the past 10 years. Prior to this year, the importance of checking out titles and returning books on time was not taught to students for 10 whole years. There were also long stretches of time when no adults would be in the library, or when the classroom teacher would have to try to check every student out. This resulted in a lot of books not being returned to the library, or never being checked out in the first place.
What about an inventory?
Our library catalog states that we have over 10,000 titles. I understand that it is frustrating to not have all 10,000 books in their exact spot. While an inventory sounds like a good idea, with the amount of titles and only one barcode scanner, and the fact that students have books checked out, it simply isn’t feasible at this point in time. Right now, the high priority concerns for the collection are deselection of outdated and damaged materials, cataloging of new materials, recataloging incorrect items, and purchasing items to update the collection. When the time comes for an inventory, I would love parent assistance. In the meantime, we will all have to be patient while our library collection moves towards being the best it can be.