Welcome to one of the best Elementary School libraries in the world.
I don't make that claim lightly. I have visited over 30 International School Libraries in the past 17 years, as well as public libraries, and our Shanghai American School Library is one of the best I've seen. It is one of the best for several reasons.
*We are well resourced when it comes to human, digital and physical resources. With 3 full time staff including a teacher librarian with a Masters as a Library Media Specialist, over 5,000 digital books on our ebook platform and over 25,000 physical books, we are more than ably equipped to assist all students further develop their joy of reading.
*Our collection is regularly curated. A large collection does not equal a good collection. Our team are constantly taking suggestions from our most important patrons; our students. We read numerous blogs and 'best of' lists to keep informed with new releases, and in particular those that reflect the experience of our community. Weeding is undertaken several times a year. This is where we check for books that are out of date, damaged, or have not been circulated for some time. Weeding is an essential element of best library practice.
*FUN! Our aim as a library team is to foster joy and enthusiasm for books, by modeling our passion for reading, helping students discover new stories, and allowing them as much choice as possible. We advocate every day for children to be able to choose books they want to read, regardless of genre, length, or....(I don't even like writing it) reading level! We allow unlimited check out. We don't shoosh unless we need students to quieten down for the benefit of others. We have cosy spaces and secret spaces, a generous return and renewal schedule and opportunities to play games and colour in once you've checked your books out.
We enter the library respectfully and head to the Early Childhood Library (Pre K and K students) or the Carpet Area in front of the TV.
We don't run in the library because we don't want to bump into anyone or anything and drop our books.
When we need help from Ms Joji, Ms Stella or Mrs Power, we use our best manners and wait our turn if they are busy.
We try and learn our school ID number, as it is our username and password for destiny, and helps us find, renew and hold books.
We choose books we want to read, but don't take too many that we can't carry them ourselves.
We remember to bring our own cloth bag, and if we forget, and need a bag, we return it the next day.
As we finish reading our books, we return them to the book drop as we walk by it in the morning, or to our classroom if we are Pre K.
Books can be kept for one week for Pre K and K students and two weeks for grade 1-5 students, however we encourage students to return them as they finish them, to keep them circulating.