I am going to limit myself to changing only three things so that I don't overwhelm myself or the teachers and students. 1) student workers b/c I do not have an aide 2) adopt-a-book - purchase a book to celebrate or honor someone 3) student self check-in and check-out. I am looking for advice from those of you who have been in the library already and "know" how things work. Do my changes seem reasonable? I am in a PreK - 5 school. One more thing, previously our library hasn't been a warm, inviting place - would a theme help to change that? Thank you!
Being a librarian is so much fun! Have a great year. In my opinion, I would not allow for all students to be trained to check their own books in and out. I would limit that- to only yourself and a few trained student helpers. That could end up a mess otherwise.
Last year was my first year as librarian. I have two campuses, so I focused on building relationships with teachers, staff, and students. Remember it's all about your patrons.
Self-check is a big goal of mine, also. We use Alexandria, and we were asking students for their ID number and WE were typing the number in to bring up their account. The first thing I did was get an extra computer keyboard so the kids could type in their own number. For kinder, I printed up a page of barcodes for each class and would scan that since some of the little ones didn't know their numbers.
When that was working well, I requested Technology get me a small keypad with just numbers, "enter," and a backspace key. That's what we're using now.
The next step will be to request an additional desktop computer on each circulation desk so that one can be dedicated to "returns" and the original one can be dedicated to "checkouts."
In my opinion - I would concentrate on making yur library a warm inviting place! And building relationships with teachers (co-teaching and collaboration are vital to our success as library teachers).
I do agree with Kali about self check out. I have students who need 3 reminders to check out their books, and they still forget! Train some parents (as part of making your library warm and inviting) to handle check in and out so you can concentrate on the students.
for your words of encouragement and tips/tricks. I have taught at this school for the past eighteen years. I do plan on collaborating with the teachers and plan to have some online forms for them to request my help with different things. I have removed some tables and added a couch, recliner, and some beanbags. I also moved the circulation desk to a more central location. Next I am going to make a library brochure to introduce the library to everyone.
JUst read your post. I will be the new librarian in my building too. I would love to see the brochure you are making. I have also made a goal to make the library warm and inviting. I bought a lot of fadeless paper (we have a lot of windows in our library) and have pretty much put colorful paper ALL over. Behind the student computer station is a window. I put a border of old CD;s around the window. Turned out great! I have done a What is your favorite Genre wall. If you go on Beth Newingham's site she has the genres that are colorful and can be printed on 8 1/2 X 11 paper. So those are displayed. We adopted the Journeys reading program (houghton Mifflin). The BIG Idea is :There are many reasons to take a journey. So.... throughout the library I am going to decorate with different journeys and adventures one can take or have taken. Ex. flight, hot air balloons, extreme sports, space, journeys of animals, ex. whales, salmon, famous people who have taken journeys, You get the idea. We should keep in touch and bounce ideas off each other. I teach in WA state. I have taught 1st, 2nd and third for a total of 18 years. This will be fun!! I am excited for the opportunity. Good Luck, Molly
i used self check IN last year for the first time, and IT WORKS! i have a laptop with a stationary scanner set up for that purpose. students scan their books on their own. i am constantly LISTENING for mis-scans. and i TEACH the students how to look at the screen and listen for the correct sound to be SURE their book was check in. after checking IN, the students put their books in one of a number of re-shelving baskets, based on which section they're going back to. this is a REAL time saver! AND it teaches students how to read call numbers!
yes, there ARE times a book does not get checked in properly, and it creates a conflict at CHECK OUT, but these few times are worth it for the time i save not having to check in ALL the books myself.
BTW ... i would NEVER let students check OUT their own books. they DO find their patron barcodes in a notebook that i have set up by classes, but *I* scan the barcode and then their books. too much of a chance for errors otherwise!