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Here is even more on the subject...

Kimberly Rose
Library Media Specialist
Star Lake Elementary
Kent, WA
Federal Way S.D.


I'd opt for the cafeteria as opposed to the library.  I'm the glorified
after school babysitter/librarian for our high school, and it hasn't
worked out(my opinion) because students aren't studying-they're getting on
illegal web sites, getting in the stacks to eat, etc.  I know you're
probably talking about younger kids in your case, but you have to think
about the
food issue(snacks or breakfast for after/before school care), books
walking away with caregivers or children, and  more work for you
straightening shelves,etc.  Do you really want this aggravation?  Talk to
your principal and bring up some of your concerns.  Hope this helps.


Our program takes place in the cafeteria.


Some questions you should ask - politely and with a smile of course:
   who's going to supervise
   what will student's do there
   will food be served
   will any library materials be used
   who will be responsible for damage or loss
   if the room is rearranged will it be put back
   where will students put coats and other stuff

We run an after school program - in 2 first floor classrooms - with
immediate access to the outside for
easy pick-up and going to the playground.  My library is generally open
after school.


It was proposed for my PK-2 library and the principal said No Way. The
program was then housed in the school cafeteria.  The kids walked on the
tables, wrote on the walls, you name it.  They did so much damage there
we all shuddered to think what they might have "accomplished" in the


I've experienced before/after care in the library at both places I've
worked and I HATE IT!  Fight it all you can!!!   I must say it's not so
bad now, but I get tired of having to straighten my place up every day.
Just yesterday I cleaned up poptart crumbs from all around the
computer--guess who was having breakfast?   The thing that really irks me
I guess is not having control of my space.  Do any other teachers have to
share their classrooms?  No, they set
up for the next day, leave and go home, and everything is set to go the
next morning.  Not ever so for me.

Okay, I'll step down from my soapbox now.  : )


    Sure.  Happily agree--with the understanding that it will be also
perfectly reasonable to expect to use the principal's office, after hours,
for aerobics classes or skateboarding or ???
    And, hey, why DON'T they pack peas and peaches in the same can, as the
space is there and the economic benefit is evident... .
    Don't forget to suggest the toilets in the school's restrooms might be
used to keep folks' goldfish, when they are not otherwise being "used."
    And why DO we waste space and resources with bookends, when we could
fill up each and every shelf, after all???

    Seriously, try to keep it light, but this really IS (or should be) a
    Gotta go.  I'm heading off to the bank to pick up a rifle and some
donuts... .


We have before and after care in our building.  When the cafeteria, their
usual space is being used (occurs about three times a month) the media
center becomes their space.  I find it VERY unpleasant.  The students are
not controlled well.  The noise level is untolerable...and I don't keep a
quiet library.  I know I can forget getting any shelving done or any other
work in the main media center.  Even in my office with the door closed,
it's irritating.  The media center is also used weekly for girl scouts
(not much better than daycare) and for chess club for an 8 week period.

That's why I get to work at 7:00 for a school day that begins at 8:35!


What ages & what do they mean by "child care".  Are we talking a very
structured program or just one of those "stick the kids in front of the
VCR" deals?  And are we talking 4 year olds or 10 year olds?

I run an informal one in my library in the morning - it's from 7-7:30.
Since it's mine and I do it for free, I get to set the rules!  I limit it to
high AR point pass 5th graders and a few others who need help with their
homework or can work independently. They read, do homework, socialize, use
the computers etc. If they misbehave they have to go back to the cafeteria
to wait-which they hate so they are usually pretty good.

We have a more formal after school program for 3, 4 & 5th graders - it's
mostly homework help.

The problem with using the library is that some folks figure "the kids can
just read". This works fine with older kids who like to read, it's a
disaster if you have 6 year olds who can't.

Tell whomever is proposing the program that you need more details before
you will commit- specifically ages food - will the kids be eating?
activities - are we talking homework help or finger paint? who is
responsible for kids who aren't picked up on time (it will happen)


My public K-5 elementary school offers school-age child care in our gym
both before and after school.  The after school program has a homework
session that I have permitted to take place in my library.  My rules are
that the group must be there for quiet study only and that they must be
strictly supervised by one of the after school care-givers.  The after
school time is the only time that I have to work quietly in my library on my
paperwork and since I do not have a private office I am not able to lock
myself in a separate room away from the students.  I have made it clear to
all involved that I am not the students' supervisor nor am I there to chat
with the children or help with homework.  Students are able to use all of
the library's print materials but not the computers (my reasoning is that I
would be continuously sought out for computer assistance if the children
were using them.) I also have had to reinforce with the students and the
care-givers that I expect the library chairs and tables to be left tidy.  I
do not tolerate chairs left askew or bits of paper or eraser crumbs to be
left scattered on the tables. My principal is very supportive of my stance
and even had the after-school program get my permission before allowing the
homework session to take place in the library.

I do not think an after-school childcare program housed solely in the
library will work.  By the time the school bell rings the kids are
naturally ready to get rowdy, wiggle around and throw off school rules.
They need to do this after a full day at school.  You won't be able to get
any of your work done quietly and the children participating in the after
school care program will confuse after school library behavior and in school
library behavior.  Also, unless you set strict rules, you will get sucked
into assisting with their care.

Gosh, after reading what I've written I sound like a real nasty, old-fashion
librarian!  Truly, I love my school kids and I know that I am one of their
favorites in the school.  That's why I have had to set up strict rules,
otherwise my little darlings would continually be seeking me out for some
loving attention.


I have a before school program in my library.  The library is open from
7:30 - 8:00.  Class starts at 8:00.  I have the grade levels assigned to a
day.  Monday = 5th, Tuesday = 4th, etc.  Friday = 1st.  I didn't include
Kindergarten because this was a new thing this year and I didn't know how
it would work.  It has been great!  The kids come in on their day ready to
go. Most go to the computer and play educational games or work on class
assignments that require typing or research.  Some play UNO or Battleship.
Sometimes I have crafts out also.  It doesn't sound like you will be able
to break it up by grade level, but I thought that I would share.


We have approx. 70-80 children in the library for supervision every
morning before school. They are the children that do not ride a bus or
eat breakfast.  It is an unstructured time as the kids are arriving in
steady intervals. Some children read or are read to by older students,
we have some games etc. for them to play. We have also had students
supervised by a YMCA after school daycare program when they cannot use the
gym or cafeteria.  Generally, they watch movies.

The morning kids are supervised by the library staff, but the Y kids have
supervisors.  We also supervise after school tutoring kids two days a week
until they are picked up by their teachers.  Usually 15 minutes or so.

My question to you is who will be expected to supervise them? If you
are, I would ask for extra pay!

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