A new school year, brings tons of volunteers!

School started back up almost a week ago.  I got the basics done. I updated our client list, put tons of great books back on display.  Now I need to gear up for our volunteer program. 

Several years ago we started asking for student volunteers to work in the library to help with shelving of books, pulling magazines that needed fixing (which is pretty much constantly around here), and other random tasks that the kids come up with. 

The popularity of the program has grown ENORMOUSLY in the last two years.  It may be in part because when the kids donate their time to work in here; one morning recess a week, we blast music of their choosing the entire time they’re working (I get to choose my cbc radio 2 favourites as well, which usually emits a large amount of groans, until they start requesting them a few weeks later 🙂 

Students need to be in grade 4 – 6 (our grade 7 & 8’s do no get a morning recess.  But I’ve had several previous volunteers ask if they could continue working in the library this year, so they may be coming in one lunch recess a week). 

The grade 4’s usually get the task of sorting magazines and putting away Fiction and Easy Reader books.  After a year if kids want to try putting away non-fiction titles I’ll train them to do that as well.  I’ve learned that some kids get the hang of shelving books right away, and some never do.  My biggest issue is not the mishelved books, and I will admit there are a fair amount of them with this program (most are CLOSE to where they’re supposed to be though :).  It’s getting kids to come to me when they don’t where things go.  Very few are willing to open their mouths and say “you know what, I’m not really sure I understand how to do this”.  Which is frustrating beause I make it very clear that if they need to ask me every single time where a book goes, they can, because I want them to learn how to do it properly. 

A wise person once told me that it’s much more important that they continue to shelve books (even if half are wrong), if they’re working hard, and they really want to learn how to shelve, that’s more important than it being 100% right. 

This morning I did an all call for volunteers who are interested in working this year.  62 students showed up, 25 of them being volunteers from last year.  A good 15 of those kids will either decide this isn’t for them, or will quit halway through the year.   At this point I’m not sure how to handle 13 students each recess and not have complete chaos!

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