Monday 16 July 2012

Teacher writes about libraries

Hi Michael

Currently most of our schools (and our advice is to) operate a library, and then a book corner in class. This means that the book corner can be tailored to topic/phonics (!)/reading age etc whilst the Library remains whole school and is subject to a timetable. Books are ordered by genre, with occasional displays for authors/new books/ school themes. Where space/resources are short then I have known libraries to be non-fiction and class book corners to be fiction. Not something I recommend though! Several schools in my area are like this and having moved around London in my career I know that this is not always the case.

In my last role, schools based in Islington, I advocated use of the library for research lessons which meant that the children were beginning to use books alongside other methods, such as ICT. As these lessons progressed the pros and cons of such methods became more apparent to the children. For me and my school I worked hard to make the library the focal point of school life, using book clubs, art clubs, competitions and children's choices to make it theirs. The library had fantastic displays, and was a genuinely fun place to be. This is my vision for all the schools I work with!

The teachers I work with are incredibly keen and most schools see that a functioning library is an asset!

Keep up the good work- you inspired me with your poetry years ago and I enjoy reading your blog now! Ever entertaining and occasionally controversial, it's nice to have someone to spearhead debate.