Message from Ms. Strasma, IIA Librarian
Let’s practice the “three R’s” in Our School Library.
Our school library space is currently being used in many ways to serve our kids at IIA. The open design of the large room has allowed teachers to seat the students in a semi-circle in the “sunken” amphitheater area for special talks. There is a pull-down movie screen and a big rug with colored circles for the younger students to sit on. The area is even big enough to handle some groups during recess when it is raining outside.
Another section of the room is set up with tables for the After School program, for one-one sessions with students needing special help, and as a quiet place for teachers to do their lesson planning.
But what about the hundreds of English and Chinese books that have been generously donated to the library by the PTO, parents, and teachers?
What would help students actually find books by genre (topic), at the appropriate level, and be able to conduct objective research?
Until we have time in the summer of 2023 to get a library software system to catalog each book, we have added colorful signs by general category and individual shelf labels. Next, we have set up an old-style check-out system with book pockets and check-out cards that the students are actually helping create for each book they want to read.
The students each have their own library markers to place where the book is shelved and then fill out the book title and the borrower’s name on a check-out card. To return a book, the students replace the checkout cards in the book pockets, reshelve the books on the correct shelves, and use their library markers for the next books they want. Not only does the volunteer librarian not have to shelve all the books, but has time to respond to student book requests,
shelve newly donated books, conduct weekly reading and story times for the youngest classes, and plan monthly displays and other enrichment programs.
What a response we have had from the students and teachers! At the rate the students are checking out books, we may be processing over 150 books a week. We are also in the process of re-shelving fiction books by genre (topic), because that is what the students, teachers, and most booksellers use.
Please come visit our library. I will be there in the afternoons and would love to chat with you if you are interested in volunteering with me in keeping the library staffed whenever school is in session. Because I cannot read Chinese, I am especially looking for volunteer partners who can rearrange the Chinese section like the English section, and create Chinese signs and shelf labels.