Friday, May 27, 2016

State of the Library

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 2015-16 school year:
  • The elementary circulated 34,456 items to K-4 students
  • The middle school circulated 9,235 paper books, DVDs, and playaway audiobooks to students in 5-8, but also circulated 5,208 ebooks and 476 digital audiobooks via the FollettShelf. This brought total circulation up to 14,919 items, an increase of 38% over last years total circulation.
  • The high school struggled this year, but had a solid 1,426 physical and digital items circulated.
  • I hosted monthly game nights at the middle school for students to build relationships with staff and among their peers in a positive atmosphere.
  • 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.
  • Coding nights were held at both the middle school and high school, with students learning the basics of computer science.
  • The $58,476 that was allocated to SCC by Wisconsin's common school fund helped purchase books, ebooks, playaway audiobooks, digital audiobooks, DVDs, and green screen 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 school will continue to see increased use of the ebook and digital audiobook collections and that the high school will see this bump as well when these students begin our Chromebook initiative. 

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. Currently I have plans to set up a green screen video recording area at both the middle school and high school in the fall. This area can be used to extend lessons in the classroom and is available for students to use for personal projects. Other areas that may be expanded are an audio recording area for both podcasts and music (though sound proofing is proving to be a problem) and makerspace areas where students can explore robotics, coding, and problem solving.

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]

DFTBA and have a great summer!

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