Today was a really great day because I got to do library things all day. Okay, I know for me that is pretty much every day, but today just felt especially great that way for some reason. I spent my morning at my internship at the public library. We had a rather large fifth grade class come in for a visit to work on their famous Americans research project. I had such a blast helping this group of kids out! The librarian I was working with gave a quick introduction to library resources and then we let them loose in the library for their research. And of course we were there for all their questions.
First of all, fifth graders are an age I don’t work with a lot, so that was a great change. It is also a really fun age! They were all so smart and it was great to see them scattered about the library, working away. The other cool thing was seeing all the variety in the fascinating famous Americans they had chosen to study. Yes, some of them chose topics so out there it was a little difficult to find good resources for them, but they were each so passionate about their choices that I could tell they weren’t going to give up in the face of a little challenge here and there.
Helping them with their questions gave me such a thrill and reinforced how much I can get excited about information literacy and sharing that knowledge with students. It was so heartwarming to my little librarian heart to see these fifth graders learning to use reliable databases and knowing how to look something up in an index.
In the afternoon, it was time to shift gears as I headed over to my little on-campus library. Today was our first day care visit and I was really excited. There is a day care in the same building as our library. We are trying a new community partnership with them and invited them to come into the library once a week for a visit and a short story time. The class was a group of 12 two-and-a-half-year-old children. I was a little nervous that they would be too young to enjoy the fall stories I had picked out, but it turned out that the story time went like a charm.
They were really enthralled with my choice, Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall. They were able to relate to all of the fall experiences of the children in the story and it made for great talking points throughout the book. Crunching leaves, jumping in big piles of leaves, gathering leaves to look at them and study them, they really latched on to all of that. My second pick was a great fall classic, Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell. I have fond memories of reading this story myself as a child. It is not ideally suited for a read-aloud, as the illustrations are quite small and there isn’t a lot of story. But the fall experience is there and it is quick enough that it held the children’s attention.
I interspersed the stories with a few songs and rhymes. “Open them, shut them,” “Leaves are falling all around,” and “Two apples in the tree.” These were also pretty good hits. The story time was followed by about 10 minutes of letting the children pull and look at books on their own in the library. They really seemed to enjoy this, though I did feel bad for all the re-shelving my student assistants had to do!
The best part was at the end, after all the children had put their jackets back on and were getting ready to go back into the rainy weather to walk to their center, the teacher asked, “Can we come back next week?” And my answer was a resounding YES!