Agency in the ELC Library

Our ELC (Early Learning Center) Library serves our students in preschool, kindergarten, and grade one (though the grade ones also visit the Elementary Library regularly). The students in our junior preschool class can be as young as two years old at the beginning of the school year. (And unlike at some schools, they do not have to be toilet trained when they start to attend but it turns out you can check out your own library books even if you still wear diapers!)

I’m starting my third year at this school and the ELC Library runs like a well-oiled machine. I open the library at the start of the day Monday to Thursday. Each day one of the four classes has a scheduled time with me and students in the other three classes are invited to exchange books or read in the library before or after the class of the day’s session.

We have a large collection of amazing books and students are allowed to check out up to 10 books (and sometimes an 11th book if they already have 10 at home and it means tears can be avoided). This has an added perk of helping with basic math facts to 10. “I have 6 books. That means I can take 4 more books!”

We have Follett Destiny which we open on a touchscreen laptop set on a low table and we use the circulation by homeroom option and we have uploaded a photo for each student. Students touch their photo to get to their account. There are speakers hooked up to the laptop and the volume is turned up high. I remind the students to listen for the “happy” sound and to stop when they hear the “grumpy” sound. Not all do but I am usually close enough that I can hear it anywhere in the library. I tend to stand within earshot of the circulation desk (or the teacher or an assistant does). With the start of the new school year, I’m hovering a bit more to make sure returning students remember what to do and new students learn. For the youngest students, I tend to help them out by touching the Select Patron button after each student so it is back to the whole class for the next one. The three-year-olds and up figure this out and start to do it independently. If I have students from more than one class in the library, I do the switching between homerooms. I find the students help the class teacher and assistants if an adult gets stuck. 🙂

Here are some photos and a video to give a better idea of what it looks like in action:

And here is a video that was taken by our Senior Preschool teacher back in January 2017 that gives an idea of how the library is set up.



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