School and public librarians should develop a good working relationship.
Developing a partnership between public and school librarians is essential. Both can help each other abreast of new literature. periodically visit each others libraries and preview newly purchased books. Examining each others selections enables librarians to make informed decisions about the books to order. This also allows public librarians to have a better overview of teacher requirements for book reports, research papers, etc.
Student Library Assignments
The following are requirements/activities I had for my students:
- Fifth Grade, require students to get a public library card. You may be surprised that many students have never been to the library. You can develop a list of questions to have them ask the public librarians.
- What magazines are kept in the children's section?
- What reading programs are there for children?
- Is the catalog a computer or card catalog?
- Sixth Grade, require students to get a virtual or digital library card.
- Seventh Grade, develop scavenger hunts using the virtual or digital library.
- Eighth Grade, arrange a field trip to the local public library or have the librarian come to the school to discuss resources available to students.
Contrary to popular opinion public libraries are not endowed with endless funds to purchase books. Yet, they are expected to fill the education needs of thousands of students. When students need to check-out their summer reading requirements and the school library is closed where do they turn? The public library is the only free resource for students. For those with limited family resources it is a door to school success. Think about inter-library loaning books to the public library. Students will be responsible for the books, just as if the book was inter-library loaned from another public library. School owned books aren't sitting in libraries closed for the summer. They are in the hands of the students who need them.