Saturday, May 30, 2009

Whew, summer school visits finally over!

I went to the last public elementary school Wednesday morning. Gah, what a trip. First, I had to dash out of a staff meeting at the library. Then, I got lost trying to find the school and barely made it in time....and then discovered what I'd forgotten from last year, this is the one school that doesn't have enough space for us to meet in the library. So, I saw all the kids in the "large meeting room" a windowless, airless box, with the kids squirming on a hard tile floor. Squirming? Why yes, did I mention this is the one school visit I made in the afternoon? From 1 to 3. The kids were antsy and definitely wanted to go home - plus, there was a huge number of substitutes, including almost all the 5th grade teachers. The school librarian, of course, had to stay in her library so I didn't have any additional backup. I took pretty much the same line-up of books as on my other visits, and except for the extremely wiggly kids, running out of bookmarks for the 5th graders, and said 5th graders leaving one by one to be picked up or something, it was ok. But I'm very glad I only have one visit left....even if it is at 7:30am tomorrow!

At 7:30am on Thursday, I made my last school visit to our local Catholic school. I only took my non-fiction/craft books with me, as I'd be moving from class to class. I visited kindergarten through fourth grade, then discovered the 5th through 8th graders hadn't been expecting me so I just left some bookmarks for them. A lot of kids are from other towns, so I talked a little about going to their local libraries for summer reading and several of the classes were more interested in asking questions and chatting than looking at the books. Anyways, I admit I was so tired that I probably could have done a better job but the kids were very nice about it!

Now I just have two more storytimes and a family fun night at Parks and Rec and the week - and spring programs - will be over!


Ms. Yingling said...

Occasionally I feel guilty that I don't have the public librarians in to give talks, but now I don't feel so bad. I constantly recommend the public library, but can never figure out a good way to have a librarian in and put the time to good use. What's your favorite set up?

Jennifer said...

Well, I do it differently at each school. At the public elementary schools (400-500 kids) I generally set up in the library and they bring in one grade at a time for about 15 minutes. At the small parochial schools, I go from class to class. I did do the middle school this year - I did two sixth grade teams. I set up in their "pod", large meeting room, and they brought in about 100 kids at a time for 30 minutes each. I also visited an individual classroom, an 8th grade special ed. I don't really know how the librarian talk the teachers into letting me come (-:) I do know that this year all the middle school librarian did was e-mail all the teachers and ask if any wanted to see me - the 6th grade teachers set up my visit themselves, the 8th grade special ed e-mailed me, and the 7th grade English teacher didn't have time for me to come but asked for materials so she could promote our programs herself. I really enjoy talking to the school librarians - several of them use the library to see new materials and so on. Hope this helps! I know some public librarians do much fancier school visits than mine with props, skits, etc. Just depends on your local public librarian(s).