Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Reading

This past week has been filled with nothing but books, books, and yep, more books. After the great success of the high school library, when all you awesome blog readers help collect 5,000 books and ship them over, we thought why stop there? The students need books in high school, but they also need them before their secondary education. Imagine going to high school and never having visited the library in elementary school? That's the way it was for some kids... but starting this year, that number will be oh-so-much smaller!

We set up shop at Inopacan Central School! This week included lots of set-up preparation, and then teachers, their children, and some of my awesome high school girls coming to volunteer in the labeling of books. Luckily my students have PLENTY of experience when it comes to labeling, recording, and organizing books! :) I was really proud of them for coming to help.

We separated the books into four simple categories: fiction, non-fiction, reference, and teacher resources. Each section is given a tag with a color (red, green, or white) and a number. To keep the system easy and practical for the librarian and parent volunteers we kept the numbering simple. Each category starts with 1 and then continues open ended. So there is a F-1, NF-1, and TR-1. Our town doesn't have Internet yet, so this works for now. Perhaps when the slow Internet train finally comes to town we can upgrade to an online book catalogue. But for now, we have a notebook catalogue that gives titles, authors, and book number. Not quite the New York Public Library or anything, but I'm proud of it!

Here are the reference and teacher resource books. I'm hoping to get teachers interested in this special section we created for them. I put some of the American text-books and all the teaching books that Peace Corps supplied us as trainees... hopefully they're not going to ask for those back... so that teachers can have alternate resources. This will be a great source for graphic organizers, pictures, and up-dated information. I know some teachers are hesitant to try "new," yeah... it's not just American teachers!!! :) so I made a Library Request Form that teachers can fill out if they are looking for specific information. That way until they are familiar with the books and feel comfortable in the library, I can help them with locating what they're looking for. Again, hopefully this will work as well as I'm imagining.

The fiction section. We keep the bottom level of windows closed, because little hands fit through them so perfectly, as do the books when turned sideways. On a interior design sidenote, the curtains... so Filipino :) A lot of houses will have the curtains knotted like that to let the breeze in. I can never get the knot to look so perfect. Mine always look crooked, but then all you have to do is just kind of scrunch your eyes and turn you head to the side and they look as good as when my host mom or students tie them.

To familiarize the teachers with the new library we held a seminar on Thursday. Unfortunately attendance was on the low side. As I mentioned before, teachers were in charge of running the election poles, well they're also incharge of collecting the numbers for the census. So this week many of the teachers were completing their forms and visiting around town in order to find out the number of residences.

Only about 12 of the 23 teachers attended. It's a start though, and hopefully those that did make it will spread the word and get others interested. This is our fun agenda for the day. We came away knowing the rules of the library, setting a goal for kids to visit the library at least once a week (as compared to last year's zero times), a wish list the teachers compiled (they let me know that Filipino books would be helpful... so I can keep my eye out when I go to the used bookstore in Taclobon), and much more.

The next steps, raising funds from local community memebers in order to buy the grills on the outside of the windows, get an electric fan that works (ok, let's be honest, that's at the top fo the shopping list!), searching for Filipino books, and having parent and high school volunteers sign-up to help lead story-time and reading buddies.

1 comment:

alynn said...

congratulations on your new library..i hope you and your students all the best. thanks for helping Filipino children and their community:)