I’ve recently been volunteering in my daughter’s elementary school library. I used to volunteer in her classroom and when I enrolled in a school libraries course this semester, I realized how helpful it would be to get some experience in the k-5 library environment. Well, it has been a blast! You know, the library is a great vantage point from which to see the workings of the whole school. Everyday, students and teachers from every grade filter in, each with different wants and needs. I’m beginning to build up my repertoire of books to recommend, but it’s something that just takes time. It’s so important to get the right book into the right hands…there’s always that chance of a single book lighting the fire of a child who began as a reluctant reader.
I wanted to create a library display to introduce the new books we just purchased from the Junior Library Guild. With the help of an artist friend and my handy husband, we came up with this shadow-box of sorts, hoping to make a real splash!
During library time, students will be encouraged to take a look at our new collection, and if they check out one of the new books, they can write their name and the title of the book on a sea creature cut-out that will be posted to the wall behind the display, near the whale. In a way, this works as a recommendation wall. Ideally, I’d like to replace the book blurbs that I wrote, with student reviews. If only we had more library time 😦
A bubble-shaped book blurb posted underneath each book includes a short synopsis and the reading level and quiz number (if applicable). The students are always interested in the level and if there is a quiz, since (unfortunately) they need to take a quiz after each book they read, and many teachers do not allow their students to read outside their ‘level’. I suspect many students will not read the blurb, but will instead go straight to looking at the pictures and/or thumbing through the book. The blurbs may be more useful for teachers.
For teachers, I have also included supporting digital content/multimedia resources for about half of the books, via QR code, which is posted directly next to the book blurb. The emphasis that the Common Core State Standards place on more complex texts (including primary source documents), content-rich nonfiction, and new media literacies creates an additional workload for teachers. Librarians can help.