The library program at Warner Enhanced Option School operates on a fixed flex schedule. This means that twice a day I am involved in the rotation with Art, Music and P.E. to allow classroom teachers a planning time. The remainder of the day is flex, meaning teachers can sign their classes up for a visit and students have opportunities to check out books during Open Check Out. Our students can visit the library media center each school day. I feel that it is most important to support teachers with student learning by planning collaborative lessons that are based on the standards. Learning how to use various reference materials along with non-fiction books and other tools helps us to teach information skills that prepare our students for future learning.
There are many resources at Warner. Our media center houses a collection of over 9000 items that include reference, non-fiction, biographies, fiction, easy books, professional materials, story kits, magazines and videos. Over 5000 items were circulated in the last school year. In addition, Essential Literature kits are distributed through the library. Money for new items comes from a small library allocation (based on our enrollment) from central office and profit from book fairs. We also have eight student computers with a printer and scanner that are used for small group activities. Nystrom Social Studies kits are available for grades 1 to 4. These kits provide students with hands on activities using geography and history skills.
Our library program also provides enrichment activities for our students. The Puppet Truck from the Metro Nashville Public Library visits twice each year. Programs such as those offered by Metro Beautification and Kids on the Block are also scheduled to support the standards being taught. We devote a whole week to the nation wide celebration of reading the first week in March each year. Read Across America includes school wide activities such as guest readers, trivia contests, costume day, and other activities related to reading. Selected 3rd and 4th grade students entered the Metro Nashville Public Schools Social Studies Fair in addition to The Caterpillar Finance Writing Contest for the past several years. Our 4th graders have participated in the Academic Quiz Bowl as they compete against teams of 4th graders from other schools to see who knows the most about Tennessee history. Much of their research occurs in the library media center. Several of our classes use Accelerated Reader to build reading comprehension and motivation. The library supports this by providing books, monitoring student reading logs, holding periodic celebrations and operating an A/R Store to redeem tickets earned for passing tests. The Library also acts as the contact with the Nashville Sounds that involves several of our classes participating in a reading program.
As a library media specialist I have many responsibilities. I attend teacher planning meetings, repair books, process new books, maintain a collection file of titles worthy of adding to our library money permitting, meet with sales persons, check out books, and shelve books. I also do an annual inventory and monitor overdue books.
As a child, one of my favorite things to do was to read and visit the library. It is important to me to pass that on to our Warner students. When I see them casually sitting on one of the chairs so absorbed in their reading or when I hear a student say they want to do a little more research or when I hear a little one wonder aloud where I get such good stories, I know I’m on the right track. Libraries offer many good things and our Warner Library Media Center does just that.