The library we have today is ever growing and changing. It's not the library of old where students were absolutely silent and books were the only resource. Today's library is evolving into a learning space where students are encouraged to pursue knowledge and develop skills that excites them about the world. Though paper books are still prevalent, we have expanded our collections to include ebooks, playaway audiobooks, digital audiobooks, DVDs, documentaries, and magazines that spark the imagination.
While there is much to say anecdotally about what occurs in the library, hard and fast numbers are much easier for quick consumption by the masses.
In the 2017-18 school year:
- The elementary circulated 35,814 items to K-4 students
- The middle school circulated 15,864 items, both physical and digital, to students in 5-8.
- The high school circulation was down a bit this year, but still had a solid 1,963 physical and digital items circulated.
- Nine databases were purchased for students and staff to use this year. They included: TrueFlix, FreedomFlix, ScienceFlix, BookFlix, TumbleBooks, PebbleGo, PebbleGo Next, CultureGrams, and Discovery Education.
- Across the district, our ebook collection topped 3,149 titles available with our digital audiobooks coming in at 900 titles available. Students and staff can use these on their Chromebooks and personal devices 24-7-365.
- Students in grades 5-8 participated in the One School One Book program, where the whole school was invited to read a chosen book each quarter and discuss it with their peers. Dozens of students expended their reading with non-fiction, graphic novels, and great stories.
- The book fairs held at the elementary and middle schools where huge successes, showing that the SCC community cares about promoting literacy at home and at school. All total we were able to get over 4,000 books into the hands of students, and raise almost $10,000 for the library programs at SCC!
- The $56,564 that was allocated to SCC by Wisconsin's common school fund helped purchase books, ebooks, playaway audiobooks, digital audiobooks, DVDs, and maker space equipment, all of which are available to all students and staff to support learning. (Learn more about the common school fund)
What does the future hold?
I believe that the middle and high schools will continue to see increased use of the ebook and digital audiobook collections with the continued use of Chromebooks, but also because many students also have a mobile device that supports the Destiny Discover app.
I believe that the elementary will always have strong circulation based on the a nature of the learning taking place there. Our only struggle at this level is the lack of time for library classes; students are often finished with books before their next library class comes around in the rotation. However, the growth in student population with a stagnant staff growth means that our schedules will just not allow any more library time.
I believe that the inclusion of more creation stations in the library will transform the library into a true learning and creation space. The green screen video recording areas that have been set up at the middle and high school libraries have seen much use this year, which I can only anticipate will grow as students and staff create more projects to utilize the technology. The implementation of WIN time at the middle school has allowed us to offer makerspace projects for students to partake in; these allow for creativity and learning opportunities not available within the standards curricular areas. And finally at the high school a slight redesign was done to include some amazing flexible seating options, collaborative work stations, and a quiet room for students to work. Amazing things happening all over the district!
Another resource in our libraries that makes a huge difference to student learning is our staff. Myself along with three full-time library paraprofessionals offer students support within the library but also reach out and collaborate with teachers to infuse library skills and information & technology literacy standards throughout their day. The new standards approved by DPI in November have proven very valuable for refocusing our learning priorities for students.
The library is growing and changing, and we are growing and changing with it. I appreciate all the support the SCC community gives to us by making purchases at our book fairs, by donating books and supplies when we need them, by supporting literacy with our students, and by being the amazing people you are.
If you have any questions about the data presented or would like more information on plans for the library, please contact me at aolson[at]scc.k12.wi.us.
DFTBA and have a great summer!