Monday, November 29, 2010

A Book for Every Reader

I came across a couple of interesting articles on the Scholastic website. One is "Choosing Books for a Reluctant Reader" at It may surprise you that a librarian recommends the following article, but I think it has merit: "Even Bad Books Improve Reading Skills for Your Child" at Both of these articles deal with the sometimes knotty issue of matching books to kids who are not willing readers. There are lots of choices out there. The two articles will help set you up to find plenty of good choices for your children.

If you have trouble finding books that are a good fit for your kids, a look at these articles may give you an assist. You may want to move on from The Wimpy Kid series, which, like its ancestor, Captain Underpants, is proof that a sassy series can grab the attention of the entrenched reluctant reader. You can search for titles by topic and reading level on the Scholastic Book Wizard, which you will find under teacher resources at the Scholastic site. The search is simple, but remember that the results will focus on Scholastic products, which is only one portion of the vast array of children's books in print.

For parents who are ready for a slightly more challenging but less commercial search, you might like to go to NoveList K-8 under Parents and Teachers on the Mount Prospect Library Website ( There are helpful articles and booklists along with tutorials on the best ways to search. You can also get to NoveList through the databases online at Bernards Township Public Library. A chat with the librarians at the public library may also help you and your child to find a good read.

Every book has its reader, and every reader has his/her book. Making the match can be a challenge sometimes, but it's worth the effort to raise a reader.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Clock is Ticking

If you walk past the library door, you'll see a sign listing the times the library is closed to students on that particular day. That's because there is no backup during the librarian's lunch and preparation period, and the room must be closed to students if there is no one to supervise it. Before the library aides were cut at the elementary level, our library was open all the time.

So students cannot come in to type or do research or find a new book or read or reflect. The library is closed to students for 16% of every day as a result of district budget decisions. To say it saddens me to close the library to students is a vast understatement. Librarians are all about service. Being prevented from providing service to students for a significant amount of time every day deadens the spirit of a librarian. The clock is definitely ticking, but it is counting down seconds of silence and no service.

Friday, November 5, 2010

School Libraries for Everyone

Our school library not only supports the school curriculum, but it also provides students with the opportunity for personal exploration. Our collection supports the school curriculum and meets a wide range of learning styles. Students can also use the library to explore subjects of personal interest. They can expand their imaginations and develop the skills to think clearly, critically and creatively. The school library provides a setting where students develop skills they will need as adults to locate, analyze, evaluate, interpret, and communicate information and ideas in an information-rich world.

The school library program serves all of the students of the community--not only the children of the most powerful, the most vocal or even the majority, but all of the students who attend the school. The collection includes materials to meet the needs of all learners, including gifted, as well as reluctant readers. The school library program strives to maintain a diverse collection that represents a variety of points of view on current and historical issues, as well as a wide variety of areas of interest to all students.

The school library is the symbol to students of our most cherished freedom--the freedom to speak our minds and hear what others have to say.