By Linda F
image used with permission
“The library is a social place; a place for people, connection and communication, where reflection, discussion, and conversation are promoted and celebrated.”
In this list community is rated second. The social and community role of school libraries is fundamental. If your school library can capture the key principle of community and become a ‘favourite place’ then you will be well on the way to becoming the hub of the school.
Through developing and promoting your library as the place to meet, discuss, create, and play together students, teachers and the wider school community will feel connected to, and at home in their school library.
A great way to start is through making the most of lunchtime. Many New Zealand school libraries are amazing places to visit at lunchtime. rom quiet readers through to lively student led clubs, BYOD, online and board games, art activities, buddy reading and storytelling this is a time of day when your library can make a real impact.
“The library is for the whole school community regardless of background, ability, or access to technology.” The Pedagogy of the Library
A welcoming library, which actively involves and celebrates students and their families, builds a strong sense of belonging. A school library that reflects this sense of community and inclusiveness will also gain continuing support from parents, whanau and the wider community.
How many ways is your library currently connected to your school community? Is there anything you could do to increase these connections?
- links with the pre-school community
- inviting local pre-schools for story times
- story time for parents with babies and preschoolers
- family borrower ID’s
- welcoming parents to use the library with their preschoolers while waiting for older children from 2.30pm or after school.
Promoting and provoking whole school debate about books on your library blog and through events in the library.
- Best book of all time
- Worst book of all time
- Book Battles
- Kids’ Lit Quiz featuring all teachers and students from every class
- Author visits, skype with an author
- Summer reading programmes
Acknowledging the diversity of your school’s community.
- Books in home languages
- Storytelling using myths and legends from the cultures represented at your school
- Grandparents’ afternoon in the library
- Students involved in selecting and buying resources
- Photos and up to date news about local events
- Optimum library opening hours and a 24/7 online presence which welcomes and reflects all members of your school community through, for example, using languages spoken in your community, photos, video clips, features about community leaders.
Crow, S. R., & Robins, J. (2012). Play in the Library. Teacher Librarian, 39(5), 36-43.