Monday, September 13, 2010

First Week with My Library Helpers

Last spring I developed a Google form for rising fifth grade students to use to volunteer as a library helper.  I was really disappointed when only nine of 60 students expressed interest.  While nine would be a nice number to work with most of the time, it is totally insufficient to do the one-on-one kindergarten training I have done in the past.  I decided to ask fourth graders to be library helpers.  The response was outstanding. 

And now, of course, I have had an onslaught of fifth graders ask to be helpers, too.  My solution?  The more the merrier!  I now have about 38 recess helpers to spread across the five-day week.  This will be ideal for teaching kindergarteners how to use the library.  But how will I use them the rest of the time?

I have developed a calendar that rotates jobs weekly. These jobs are computer checkin and checkout, sorting returned books into categories, preparing date due cards, straightening shelves, shelving books, and displays.  The display job means not only setting up book displays in the library, but updating the Accelerated Reader points display daily.

In my not so humble opinion, that last idea was a stroke of genius, and I am disappointed I didn't think of it sooner.  I can never keep the AR display updated, and this disappoints children who want to see their points markers move.  The helpers thus far seem very motivated in helping maintain this display.

The first four groups of volunteers have all done quite well.  (Once again it is my special needs kids who best grasp the concepts of shelving. I always find that interesting.) I will meet with the last group for the first time tomorrow.  I am looking forward to it!

The kids will spend the remainder of this month learning their jobs.  Next month we will begin with kindergarten checkout in earnest.  Let the good times roll!

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