The library functions as a hub for instruction. Students and faculty may access needed information and materials both on site and virtually between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm throughout the week. Many resources are available remotely and can be accessed from home. The goal of the library is to serve not only as a reading center but also as a resource for research, technology, and integration of the curriculum for students and teachers alike. In the primary grades, instruction encompasses literature appreciation, library skills, and introduction to fiction and non-fiction materials as well as reference materials, and beginning research skills. In the upper grades, instruction is given for information literacy including research skills, source evaluation, and literature appreciation.
The focus of the library program is to teach students the skills for proper use of the library facility and materials, to develop a love of reading through literature appreciation activities, to build research skills on a developmental continuum, and to utilize technology to complete materials searches as well as information searches.
The scope of the library program in kindergarten through third grades introduces and reinforces skills from literature appreciation through information technology skills on an age appropriate level. All primary grade students visit the library for a weekly class. Kindergarten instruction focuses on literature appreciation with follow-up activities and being aware of reading interests. The progression of instruction for first grade moves from literature appreciation, to non-fiction materials and reference materials, utilization of the library OPAC (On-line Public Access Catalog) to search for books, to beginning research skills. Second grade instruction builds upon research skills, learning all sections of the library, and utilization of electronic resources. Students at this level are encouraged to select reading material at a more challenging level. The third grade library curriculum continually reinforces all library, research, and technology skills introduced in previous years. Areas reinforced include reading skills and literature appreciation; reference materials including almanacs, maps and encyclopedias; magazines; non-fiction materials; and research skills including instruction about copyright and acceptable use. Besides regularly scheduled classes, the children visit the library to complete projects as assigned by their classroom teachers.
Building upon the primary level program, students in grades four through eight come to the library to borrow materials for reading and research, and to conduct research using physical and virtual resources, including the databases in Pennsylvania’s POWER Library, subscription databases, as well as guided searches on the Internet.
Since fourth and sixth grades are transition grades for students, they attend weekly library classes to solidify skills and develop an understanding that library skills support success within the classroom environment. It is not only the weekly instruction that reinforces this understanding but also the collaboration with classroom and special area teachers on team and individual projects. Examples of these projects may include but are not limited to Famous Pennsylvanian Living Museum, History Day, Science Fair, Arts Show, Language Learning, and a variety of other topics as befits the curriculum.
In fifth, seventh, and eighth grades, the students have a weekly book exchange period during their Language Arts classes, at which time they may select reading materials. These are the grades in which students, through subject area assignments with library staff support, apply the skills acquired in their weekly fourth and sixth grade library/research classes. The goal is to continually reinforce the concept that good library/research skills foster school success.
Students in all grades continue to grow in the general literacy and information literacy skills they need extending beyond the library’s walls: reading, research, and fair use (including respect for copyright and the avoidance of plagiarism).
At all grade levels, students are provided with activities to encourage reading. All students participate in reading challenges, PA Young Readers’ Choice Awards Program, and classroom genre appreciation activities. Primary students participate in Caldecott reading activities and Dr. Seuss reading contests among others. Upper grade students participate in the Montgomery County Reading Olympics program as well as library reading challenges.
Finally, Digital Citizenship is reinforced at all grade levels. Students are instructed on safe use practices and are provided with guidance and monitoring when using sources on the World Wide Web