Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Book Check Out

I'm an elementary school library. I'll be starting my third year this school year. I feel more confident in my skills though I still feel that I need the other librarians in my district. Most (if not all) of them have more experience than I do in the library. They are a wealth of information and knowledge! Each brings a special skill set to the table. 

Book check out. So many options! Last year I started the year letting each grade level check out the same number of books as their grade. So 2nd grade got 2 books, 3rd got 3, etc. Pre-k did not check out book until December and Kindergarden got 1. 

Then I read a blog post (man, I REALLY wish I could remember the blog!). The librarian asked why we limit the amount of books students can check out. Is because we don't want to shelve so many books? Is it because our budgets have been cut so drastically and we're afraid of so many lost books? Basically is it because we are librarian centered and not student centered? She suggested we stop limiting the amount of books we check out. Or if that send us into full blown panic attack then to let students check out 5 books at a time. 

So I bit the bullet. Squashed my anxieties and went for it. Well, I didn't go for it all the way. Baby steps here, baby step. 

I decided to start with 5 books each. I started this in March or April. 2nd -5th graders got 5 books each. 1st grade got 2 books. Kindergarten (bless their little hearts) still got 1 book. Pre-K started checking out 1 book in December. 

The students LOVED it! So many books!

The teachers were all over the place about it. Some loved that their students were able to have so many books. So many opportunities to read. So many options. 

Some fussed that the students would/could never read so many books in a week. And what if they lost them? It's so expensive to replace them. 

I only had one teacher "complain" that students were still limited. She told me multiple times that they should be able to have as many books as they wanted. There should be no limits. 

I'm trying to get to that point! But for now I'm going to start the school year the way I ended it last year. I'm debating letting 1st grade have 5 books too. Maybe I'll start that in December... ease myself into it.  

Shelving so many books is a pain but some of my teachers help me shelve when they bring their classes.  My goal is to develop a love of reading and to do that, students much be able to check a lot of books. 

1 comment:

  1. I remember so vividly when I made that switch, too---from 2 to 5. Some teachers never got on board, and I had to make my peace with that--you can't please 'em all. I used to tell my kids to check out the number of books they knew they could handle---to work with a gradual increase if they were scared about keeping up with them. And--while my official cap was 5 books---there were students who were voracious readers whose cap was raised higher than that. Not much in life is a one-size-fits-all, right? Proud of you!