[library-media] Librarian brain power

Julie Barlow Julie.Barlow at loganschools.org
Wed Dec 2 12:42:32 MST 2009

Our district has had several discussions about orderly libraries over
the past year.  Orderly libraries are not just the condition of the
books and shelves, but includes the conduct and behavior of it's
patrons. For ten years I felt students could come in browse, read, and
enjoy the library without much instruction. Last year something strange
happened with increased class sizes and a continued diversity of our
population.  It felt as though a cyclone hit with every class that came
in.  I am at a Middle School and this was shocking to me.  
As each class comes in I now greet them at the door and review their
task for the visit. Number one on the big six, of course.  For regular
class visits the task is to find an appropriate book of choice to read. 
Each teacher has a different criteria ie length, genre, and appropriate
reading level.  Note:  we test each student for lexile levels and they
can search in Destiny to find a book to match their lexile.  
1. If they already have a reading book, they can sit at the tables and
sofas and read.  2. If they do not have library privileges, they can
choose  a magazine and read.  3. If they are looking for a book, they
can search the computers or browse the stacks.  All of our district
libraries k-8 are  requesting students mark books as they pull them off
of a shelf.  We provide bookmark size strips of paper in various
containers throughout the library.  This has been the best decision I
have ever made although it seems so Elementary.  Students now just pull
ONE book off of the shelf and know where it goes when they are done. 
When the next class comes, everything is in fairly good order and
students can find the books they are looking for. The Elementary schools
have been doing this for years, but now, unfortunately, we need to
continue it through upper grades.
I hope our public and University libraries appreciate the work we are
doing as I feel we are truly training our patrons how to respect books
and to understand the value of orderly conduct and behavior in social
Julie Barlow
>>> Cindy Mitchell <cindy.mitchell at jordan.k12.ut.us> 12/1/2009 9:13 AM
Good Morning Everyone - 

I am doing some research and have decided to pick your collective
brains – for two reasons.  First – you are some of the smartest people I
know.  Secondly, because I know you are passionate about libraries..  So
– for the next while I will be sending out a topic or two.  Please
respond with what you think this particular item mean towards being a
great librarian.  I am really looking for the details that you encounter
every day that brings that issue into focus in your library.  What does
this item mean to you as being part of being a great librarian? How do
you address this topic in order to have a great library? What do you
have to do in order to achieve this goal?

Today’s topic:

Maintaining an Orderly Library

Send you thoughts – THANKS!

-- Cindy Mitchell
South Jordan Middle School
10245 S 2700 W
South Jordan UT 84095
FAX 801-412-2930

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