Elementary update

There are 32 days until school starts and the elementary library is really getting put together!  Read this for our initial plans.

The book room took a lot longer than I anticipated.  As in, pretty much the entire month of June.  It was worth it though, as I think teachers will be able to better find the books they need.  I’ll let students read books there, too, especially if there are groups who want to read the same title.  I could foresee doing a “book room club” where we do an extracurricular book group with the books from there.  Certainly not as cool as the “book lovers’ club” I did several years ago, but I don’t live near the Nashville Public Library anymore and their 10-12 copies of the same quite new titles.

Here are the itty-bitty guided reading books, organized first by GR level, then alphabetically by title.  Each section will have a laminated list that teachers will mark when they’ve taken a book.

Here are the chapter books, alphabetical by title.  We have 60 copies of The Egypt Game!

Here’s the fantabaulous stage built by the fantabulous Mr. Nelson:

(Obviously, the power tools will be gone by the time the students arrive!  It will also be carpeted and will have bookshelves against the walls – the height of the tape that you see.)

Here are the fiction books, freshly weeded.  It may seem counterintuitive, but carefully getting rid of books through weeding makes your collection so much better.  We’ve done a lot of that this summer.

We also will have collections for picture books (on the stage), easy readers, juvenile fiction (a tad easier than these fiction titles), graphic novels, seasonal titles, nonfiction, reference, and a few others (exciting ones like “in repair” and “professional”).

Here are the reference books.  For some strange reason – and any librarians who can explain this, please chime in – I have the uncanny ability to take books off a shelf, even getting rid of two encyclopedia sets (1973 and 1988), putting them back on the shelf in a more efficient way (all the science books together, for instance), and the books not fitting.  I’m not sure how I do it, but with doing the inventory at the high school, I’ve now done it three times.  What can I say, I’m talented!  (And listen, people, I play a lot of Tetris.  You’d think I’d have this spatial literacy stuff down pat.)

The other side of that shelf will include space for books that our library club kids, separated by collection and put in alphabetical or Dewey order, ready to shelve.

Here are my favorite shelves, made of gutters!  Jim Trelease has spoken widely about the positive benefits of shelves like this that display the covers of books.  Here’s a tutorial on doing these yourselves (not that *I* could do it, really, I mean you can do it yourself).

We’re keeping graphic novels on those shelves (very popular), as well as seasonal subjects like back to school, Halloween, etc.  We also have short gutter shelves, about 18″ wide, that will be used for Teacher Feature – I’ll have a picture of a teacher, a short information sheet that they’ve filled out, and then have books there for checkout that teachers recommend.  I expect it will be very popular.
The most striking part of the library – which you’ve seen in part above – are the bright colors.  My exceptional paraprofessional has given up her summer vacation to work in the library and paint what is frankly a masterpiece.  Take a look:
The art teacher, Josh Anderson, has also added a couple nice touches:
(I’m not sure why the lighting on that well looks so dark.  It’s the same blue as everywhere else.  We actually are going to improve the lighting too, by changing the light panels to a different type which should solve the problem.)
As you can see, it’s really coming together.  Hopefully it will all be in place by open house, August 20th.  I can’t wait to see the students’ reactions!