What do teachers want from the librarian?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Apelila, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Apelila

    Apelila Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2007

    I was recently hired as a long term substitute librarian in an elementary school. I've gained insight from a few of the more outspoken teachers on what they would like to see happen in the library (more freedom for kinders, additional check out times for anyone). Sometime, after school starts, I hope to approach the faculty to get their input but was hoping you all might have ideas.

    What do you expect from the school librarian?

    Do you have any advice or tips?

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Sep 2, 2007

    I would want my school librarian to ask me about units of study I will be doing so that he or she could supplement materials in the library. I think most librarians already do this, but just in case. I see the librarian as an added resource. someone to work together with.
     
  4. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Sep 2, 2007

    i agree with Miss Frizzle.

    My school doesn't have a library. I wish we had one!
     
  5. ruralneteach

    ruralneteach Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2007

    I don't think a librarian should have to ask a teacher about the units of study .... the teacher should ask for materials to go with if he/she desires such. I worked as a librarian for four elementary schools that all had 18 classroom teachers. If the librarian went around asking what everyone was doing and pulling materials that might not even be wanted .... they wouldn't do anything else.

    I do agree that librarians should be open to supplementing such and encourage teachers to ask for things, but they simply don't have time to go around to each teacherand ask them how they can serve them.

    Books don't shelve themselves and if each child checks out two or three books a week, those add up. It always took my paras a solid day of shelving books after three grades had checked out.

    Librarians usually also troubleshoot the computers and media equipment unless you are lucky enough to have an IT person. Not to mention they order and process books while preparing to teach library skills.

    I want my librarian to know the library inside and out so that when my first grade class comes in and Johnny wants a book on tigers at the same time that Susie is looking for dogs and Jane is wanting a true story about bunnies that is funny. Checking out to K, 1, 2, and sometimes even 3rd grade is like being in a 25 to 40 minute tornado with everyone wanting something different and excited little bodies everywhere. Usually most kids don't start to really understand the Dewey Decimal system until mid-third grade. We always started introducing it in 1st, but it always seemed to be a complete mystery to kids until late second grade. By third grade they are usually able to use the card catalog to find the call number, but even then they don't always understand how to use it.

    Good luck in your position ----
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 2, 2007

    I email my librarian several times of the year requesting appropriate second grade materials for thems/topics/units of study. She'll collect, check out and even delivers a great assortment everytime. She keeps the library stocked with professional magazines, solicits input regarding new purchases, and keeps us informed regarding new videos or books she has bought that coordinate with themes (MLK Day, Underground Railroad, etc)
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I want our librarian to be willing to be consistent with their story time instead of treating it like a chore sometimes. I want them to be patient with the little kids. I want them to have developmentally appropriate books either pulled or in a section instead of mixed in. It's too overwhelming for the early readers. Also not all early readers are babies so sometimes it is important to remember this as well.

    One librarian was very condesending to the aides and were ordering them around rather harshly but all smiles in front of the teacher and never asking her to correct Johnny or even bothering to do it herself when he was only 1 foot away and I was across the room working with another child!! I reported her. I am an aide in my classroom, but that doesn't mean I'm a tool for every teacher's use. I will help, but I expected respect too. So this won't likely be a problem for you, but teachers and aides are sometimes hesitant and unsure of their role in the library so be kind and understanding and willing to help out.
     
  8. RitaFirstGrade

    RitaFirstGrade Companion

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    Sep 2, 2007

    Our librarian asks what unit we are covering in class and then supplements during her time with the students. For example, when we are studying butterflies, she will pull butterfly books, read one to the kids, and encourage them to check them out to learn more. This is great! Also, if I want books on a specific theme to use myself in the classroom, I just ask and she pulls some for me. At my school, we don't have extra check-out times, but the library does have times where we can send a child to take an AR test or ask a question of the librarian. This works well for us.
     
  9. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Sep 2, 2007

    Our librarian does a poetry tree, and when the kids write a poem, it gets rolled into a little scroll and put onto the tree. It's really neat. The child reads it to the class.

    She is a wonderful librarian, and does lessons with the kids on how to find books, use the computers, etc. They do sort of scavenger hunts where she may give a call number and they have to figure out what book it is, or they get the title of the book and have to figure out where it is using the call number info or the computer.

    She also does a read aloud each library day and does book talks. She did a readers theatre with them last year with a book they read and then they wrote the script! It was so cool!

    Another thing, get to know the kids and make them feel special. If you know Johnny likes spiders, set a spider book aside for him. Have some time when the kids can come in and check out books aside from their scheduled time.

    She also has the older class work as library assistants and they check in books for her, and possibly shelve books, though I am not sure about that. I know they also come during times when the youngest classes are in library and help the little kids check out and find books. This is great. I don't know if your school would allow the kids to leave the class for this though. Our librarian also leads lunch book clubs. The 4th and 5th grade classes join in. She does it maybe 4-5 times a year and picks the book and the book club only meets once. They do some sort of activity, either art of some sort of food related activity and talk about the book. It's nothing like the book groups done in class (in terms of depth, due to time) but they LOVE it! They are long enough apart that the books can be shared, even though there are multiple copies and class sets for books, often the crowd is bigger than our class sets, so she has enough time for each kid to read the book before the book club meets.
     
  10. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Sep 2, 2007

    Great ideas above!

    I want a librarian who does not suspend a child's borrowing privileges because they have a $.05 fine for returning a book late one day last year.
     

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