My journey with IB started ten years ago. I started my career as a librarian in an Indian curriculum where a librarian’s role was to issue and return books and manage stock of books.
IB was a significant change. From a closed library environment of a silent zone to a social Learning space of interactive learning through discussions with peers and teachers in the Library.
At Pathways, we are open-minded and encourage students to explore beyond their reading levels. The Library provides children with an avenue to read a book of their choice. Students can read any genre or any reading material. If a reluctant reader wants to start with a graphic novel or even a magazine, we don’t stop them instead encourage them to explore, and I observe silently. I have noticed a transformational change in students reading habits when nurtured with encouragement and care.
Promote literacy and reading through events
Across the years, I have observed that children get motivated to read when they have ownership to plan their reading journey. They are happy to come to the Library and eagerly look forward to the interactive library lessons.
Our library program is planned at an early stage to ensure that the literary activities align with the academic calendar. We celebrate the author’s birthday, poetry month, commemorative days, literary festival, readathon, book week, library week in the calendar, and introduce other events throughout the year.
Here are some glimpses for the year-long planning:
Poetry is celebrated across the school in April. Everyone from students, teachers, and parents participate in writing poems. We share the poems via emails to parents, faculty, and students. Poetry sessions are interactive activities like push pin poetry, tabletop poetry, images into words, a poem in your pocket, a poet of the day, and many more. It is a month-long programme of creativity at its best.
The literary festival at Pathways is a two-week-long reading and writing festival where renowned authors and illustrators interact with students, with the primary objectives of promoting and fostering a love of literature and writing. Multiple activities are lined up based on the authors’ lives, their books, quizzes, book-talks, and discussions that excite children to learn and relearn.
Board Game Week
Board Game week is celebrated in the Library with zeal and enthusiasm. During this week, the primary and middle school students researched board games’ history. They learned about different board games worldwide, like monopoly, chess, scrabble, mancala, puzzles, ludo, and other word building games. Children showcased cognitive skills of decision making, higher-level strategic thinking, and problem-solving while learning to be patient, confident, and creative. The week passes by with lots of learning and on a triumphant note.
Comic-Con celebration is a week-long celebration. Children are introduced to the world of graphic novels and comics like Marvel, DC, Amar Chitra Katha, Manga through videos, presentation, fun facts, displays, and book-fair. Various activities are organized for different grades like mask making, creating comic strips, poster competition, comic swap, dress-up day as a character, and more.
Black History Month
Primary and Secondary Library of Pathways celebrates the month by displaying biographies and related resources, encouraging students to read and watch videos of famous personalities, focusing on the respect of different races. Grade Nursery to Kg read the book The Color of Us to teach a positive and affirming look at our skin color. A follow-up activity included writing descriptive words and drawing pictures of their skin colors on a paper strip.
While grade 4 pursued their unit on Governance, and they connected it with a study on Nelson Mandela. Class 6th& 7th watched videos and researched on African American History and created a hexagonal-shaped ‘History Quilt’ that showcased the historical evidence of famous people. Students were proud to notice how parts of the famous persons are connected (tessellated) to make the quilt design.
The Middle and Senior school library celebrated Halloween. A haunted room was created in the Library with a spooky corner and a photo booth with mysterious masks and props. Many fun activities were planned like wrap the mummy, brain game, what’s in the mystery box, pass on your horror story where children created their stories.
Year-long interactive display boards are soothing to the eyes for the school and library visitors. It catches the attention of the passer-by.
Some of the themes of the boards include:
- Famous books vs. movies. Students voted using tally marks which are better books or the movies that were made on them.
- Boards designed on Roald Dahl’s gobble funk language to allow children to invent words and meanings.
- Roald Dahl’s Dream Jar -Children wrote about their dreams in a Jar shaped template.
- Interactive board during poetry month – Push Pin Poetry. Students join words to create rhyming sentences.
- Book Selfie: Children write book reviews and pose with their favorite book.
I believe in maintaining a reading culture at school; it is essential to organize reading-related events throughout the year. It fuels the love for learning, reading and the Library.
Libraries must be livelier
As a librarian, I have learned that what a child needs is a friendly, loving, carefree environment where they come once in a week to relax and enjoy reading. As a teacher-librarian, our job is to fulfil all the child’s requirements and welcome them with a smile and a loving atmosphere.
We are new, age-friendly, and happy go lucky librarians with a welcoming atmosphere where children, parents, and teachers love to visit, share and collaborate. It’s indeed said that libraries connect people to people, people to places, and people to learning.
By Anju Dutt