A partnership with the public library can provide a school library with a wealth of resources. Often, a school library’s funding is much, much less than your local public library’s funding. Recently, I reached out to my local county library branch for another partnership opportunity.
As we prepare for summer break, I am constantly trying to get books into the hands of our students to prevent the “summer slide.” I sponsor Free Book Day for all of our students; however, I know that the books I provide simply cannot fuel all of our students’ imaginations. They need more. They want more.
After speaking with our local library, they agreed to set up a time to come visit with our 6th-grade students. During the small assembly, two librarians shared how to apply for a library card and the materials that are available. The acquisitions librarian brought several hot reads for YA and did multiple book talks on them. Babs, as the students call her, also shared about their available audio books, DVD collection, and the availability to use the library’s computers and free internet.
The library director explained about the new location of our county library and shared the plans for the new teen space. Students were very excited to hear that there will be a space just for teens to visit with age-appropriate seating, gaming consoles, MakerSpace areas, and books. Students also shared some of their ideas for the space. She also shared the summer activity schedule, website information, and hours of operation.
Both librarians spoke about their e-book collection and how to utilize OverDrive for summer reading. Many students were excited to discover they had the option to get books directly on their devices for free!
Babs led a data-collection activity before departing. She asked each student to write down their favorite book they read this year and one book, author, or topic they would like to read in the future. Later in the day, she shared the results not only with me but with other librarians in our educational cooperative area. What a great way to find out what other students are reading and add to your collection development list!
Consider a partnership with your local public library branch. Many are excited to come meet students, share their offerings, and get input from local young people and teens.
Author: Ashley Cooksey
Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.