Library Offerings Span Beyond Books
Jan. 24, 2022
Libraries hold more than books. Lindbergh Schools librarians are engaging with students through the use of activities that offer learning opportunities and encourage creativity.
Kennerly Bookmark Club
Lindbergh High School senior Reagan Cleaves is working as a student intern at the Kennerly Elementary School library and has started a bookmark club for the students.
“I know that I really like books, and I just wanted to do something with reading,” Cleaves said.
As a library intern, Cleaves explained that she shelves books, helps students with projects, and assists library staff with anything they need.
One of the student projects turned into a bookmark club. Cleaves said that a student was interested in reading, and Cleaves printed a bookmark for the student to color. That simple activity turned into a club, and now Cleaves prints different bookmarks each week for students to collect and color.
“My favorite part so far has been just seeing the kids read for fun,” Cleaves said. “At the high school you don’t see that as often. It's really nice to see the kids interact with books.”
Crestwood Take-Home Kits
At Crestwood Elementary School, Library Media Specialist Beth Mazdra has started creating take-home kits for students to check out. These kits are themed to an activity or hobby. They contain an instruction book, and items that can be used for the activity.
For example, there is a kit about crocheting. It contains an instruction book on how to do it and yarn to practice.
“I just keep trying to figure out ways to engage with kids at Crestwood and thought these would be a good idea,” Mazdra said.
There are around 20 kits currently in the collection, with more on the way. They range from balloon sculpting to duct tape projects to how to play chess.
“They are all sorts of things that I thought kids would want to do and learn,” Mazdra said. “We have a lot of yarn here, so I thought crocheting would be good. I recently bought a set of Rubik’s Cubes, so that’s a new one. It's all about how to solve a Rubik’s Cube. It comes with instructions and four different versions of the cubes.”
This is the first year of the program.
“Some kids have come back and said, ‘I’m not a crocheter, I’m a knitter.’ Kids will come back and want to try a new kit,” Mazdra said.
At LHS, power lunches have developed into “Crafternoons” in the library. These events center on a craft activity, and occur one to two times a month, depending on budgeting and planning time. Similar activities have been around for about five years under different names.
“This is the first year we called it ‘Crafternoons.’ The idea came from us wanting something fun to bring students to the library, who don’t often come to the library,” LHS Library Media Specialist Anna Whitehead said.
The crafts have ranged from cookie decorating to making bookmarks to doing origami.
“It helps take learning out of the classroom. Sometimes there are new skills we can teach, or sometimes it's just a fun activity,” LHS LIbrary Media Specialist Chelsea Pulley said.
Cookie decorating was by far the most popular and successful activity this school year.
“We decorated over 225 cookies in under 20 minutes,” Pulley said. “That was very popular. We had plenty of kids who probably had not come to the library, attend that activity. That’s pretty cool.”
The activities are planned and budgeted for based on what Pulley and Whitehead anticipate will be popular. They said they have many repeat participants and always welcome new students.
As for the rest of the district, each elementary school and middle school is putting together a “Book Battle Team.” Each team of students will read from a list of books and then participate in a trivia contest. This is a countywide competition with school districts competing against each other. All Lindbergh elementary schools will have a team.
That is just another extension on how Lindbergh Schools libraries are learning spaces. Each librarian shares the same sentiment about getting students to the library.
“We are just looking for ways to bring more kids into the library, and these are fun ways to do that” Mazdra said.