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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Storm Chaser

With over a thousand students visiting our library each week, the number of books that circulate is incredible! So are the varied requests for books and subjects. There is a consistent balance between fiction, nonfiction, and everybody books...with a minor wrinkle. Primary grade students are sometimes restricted from the Dewey section. Not by the library staff but by classroom teachers. This limitation is imposed even after the kindergarten specialist spent the second half of the school year teaching the children how to find books in the Dewey section. Self-selection of books is such an important literacy skill, and choosing books based on one's interests is essential. 

So, I loved it this afternoon when a second grade reader (whose teacher lets the class check out the books they want to read) came to me and asked for a book about storms. I led him first to the 363 shelf where the storm books have a focus on the disastrous effects on people and communities. He was quiet. Then I showed him the 551.55 shelf where the storm books focus on the meteorological reasons for them. "Those are the ones I meant," he said. "I am going to be a storm chaser, and I need to know more about tornadoes." The conviction in his tone assured me he believed he would do that, not that he might want to be a storm chaser. He will be my anecdotal evidence when I make the case for student choice yet again.

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