Libraries have long been a place for reading and exploration and are often at the heart of a school community. The librarian's goal is to provide students with a warm environment for discovery, collaboration and research. During library, some of the things the children may experience are: story times, introduction to new books or book cafe, how to locate books, diverse cultures through literature, basic understanding of the Dewey Decimal System, book construction and a history of books and libraries. The librarian also works closely with classroom teachers and other co-curricular teachers to connect to themes students are studying in their classrooms.
At Rio Grande School we value the traditional roles of the library yet, embrace the role of a 21st century library by teaching research skills such as: evaluating sources, utilizing databases, copyright, citing sources, etc. We also incorporating the 4 C's of ISTE: Community, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking.
Learners use skills, resources, and tools to:
- inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge
- draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge
- share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society
- pursue personal and aesthetic growth
The library collection is dynamic and current with a multicultural and global scope, utilizing the best practices of collection development. It has been built to incorporate classroom themes, student-suggested resources, and in general to reflect the RGS and greater Santa Fe community.
The librarian and the technology educator collaborate closely with classroom educators and other specialists to plan, enrich, and extend RGS curricula, especially throughout the research process and for classroom themes and projects. Technology is regularly integrated into the library program. Apple TV is mirrored to a large screen as a teaching tool for library and research skills lessons, for instance. It is also used to project online stories and book trailers, author websites, etc. Students in upper grades who enjoy doing so often bring an ereader device (school-issued iPad or other approved personal ereader) for silent reading. Additionally, library classes are scheduled in order to maximize use of the computer lab for student use of the library online catalog, LibraryWorld, for use of digitized picture books, viewing book trailers, and for other purposes related to literacy and research. When research projects are planned collaboratively with classroom educators and other co-curricular educators, often websites are predetermined and bookmarked for student use.
Assessment is done informally by observation and anecdotal records on an ongoing basis. Students are involved in activities such as scavenger hunts, which are evaluated for knowledge of resource location to support their independence in finding materials in the collection. Skills lessons are built into the research process and usually relate to a classroom thematic focus. Productivity and adherence to the RGS research process are evaluated. The librarian is in close contact with the classroom educators and the learning support coordinator to address individual student needs, learning styles, and learning differences. Preferential seating and other accommodations and modifications are provided for students with learning differences. Individual learning styles are considered when planning lessons.