Wow! What a great year! We had tons of exciting things happening. This year we moved our fiction collection from ABC order by author to genre sections so that it would be more like browsing a bookstore, practiced research skills, made book commercials, hosted a book club, had 2 book fairs and a Christmas Shoppe, piloted Reader's Workshop, won the Georgia Exemplary Media Program Award, and did it all while averaging a checkout every three minutes! That's a lot of books.
Let's start with the genre shelving, because I know people are interested to see how that went. As you may know, we started with three sections to "test the waters": SciFi, Sports, and Mystery. After basically the first week of checkouts and all of the positive feedback from kids, we decided to go all in. We have the following fiction genre sections: Mystery, Sports, Action, Realistic, SciFi, Fantasy, Historical, Humor, Horror, and Animal. Thanks to the help of our wonderful in-house sub, Ms. Hardie, we got it all done in record time. If you want to see how we did it, check out this post. Overall, it was a huge success. While our circulation didn't increase by a huge percentage (it was already very high), I think the books that were checked out were read at a higher completion rate. In other words, I think the genres helped kids have more success picking a book they liked, so they were more apt to finish it. It also greatly reduced the number of times I got asked where the mystery, etc. books were. I got many positive comments from kids and parents who just love it. We also had an open house for 3rd grade and those kids and parents are excited about it. While I won't be changing the Dewey section of my library to subjects, I do love the fiction section like this.
The other topic I am really excited about is the success that we had with Reader's Workshop. The kids enjoyed it, the teacher I worked with loved it, and the principal loved it. All in all, with CRCT, field trips, and BMU, we had about 5 weeks with the kids. In that 5 weeks, the class average reading level rose almost half a grade level. Students who had not read a book all year finished 2. SUCCESS!!! Next year several teachers will be implementing it in various ways in their classrooms. I am super excited to work with them and make it a success for their students too.
As I finish up my last minute summer tasks and pack a box of books to take home to read over the summer, I am so thankful for such a great year. See you in August!