A week ago Wednesday, a number of parents got to hear all about the BNS BCS Library when they participated in a Parents As Learning Partners with ASK! What is ASK, you might ask? ASK is none other than our three librarians / teachers who make the library happen: Amanda, Susan and Karen. ASK made it clear that our library is not simply a container of books. Our librarians introduced parents to the importance of books as windows, mirrors and doors. Susan also told families about the library’s efforts to expand its collection in order to have more books that reflect the diversity of our student body. This is not only a goal for the library, but a school wide goal. A couple of weeks ago, staff gathered in the library to look at books by authors of color and about children of color. It was an inspirational meeting and staff couldn’t stop reading.
The goal has always been to seek out truly inclusive, high-quality children’s books, especially those written by people of color. It’s interesting to note that over the past few years the number of diverse books has increased, but the number of books written bypeople of color has not. In 2017, Black, Latinx and Native authors combined wrote just 7% of new children’s books published (Source: Cooperative Children’s Book Center statistics).
Despite these dismal statistics, ASK is working hard to increase the number of diverse books in the BNS BCS collection.
Class visits to the library are not just an opportunity to select books, but rather a chance for the librarians to engage students in very specific curriculum including social emotional texts, Caldecott sharings, books on civil rights, books on the rights of the child, books with varying perspectives, and books inspiring children to effect change. Much of the library curriculum focuses on teaching empathy and understanding those who are different.
At the PLP, parents also learned of the importance of supporting children in the analysis of what they read, a clear preparation for a future life on the Internet.
Did you know that children in second grade and up can come to the library any time? If they need a new book, the library is right there in room 401. The library never closes because there are three folks working in this wonderful space.
By the way, today is the first day of Open Library. Every Tuesday after school, come to the library to enjoy books, games and snacks with your children.
You can keep up with what’s going on at the library by reading the BNS/BCS Library Newsletter and the BNS/BCS Library webpage, which has booklists and online resources, as well as our library catalog (use the left hand sidebar to navigate and then explore tabs!). Soon, you will be able to navigate to BNS/BCS Library Homepage directly from the BNS Webpage.
The library is looking for volunteers. Please email Karen if you can help.