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Thank you for all the people who responded to my query!  I had a multitude
of answers!  The overwhelming majority of answers said to try to keep the
Child Care program OUT of the library...there are numerous reasons for
this, as you will find below!

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

-----------Original Message--------------------
We have had a proposal at my school to offer Child Care for students at
our school in the morning (before school) and after school as well. The
first choice was the gym, but that is generally busy after school most of
the year.

The next suggestion was to use the library for this...Have any of you had
this in the library?? and what were the results?

My initial reaction was NO WAY! But I'm fairly new at this, so I'm not
really sure how I should respond to this suggestion.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!!


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

----------RESPONSES BY GENEROUS LM_NET MEMBERS!!------------------------

Hi, We currently have before care in the library and I HATE IT!  The
person in "charge" no matter how many times I've asked does care about the
state the room is in when she and the kids leave it.  Everything gets
rearranged, taken, and dirty, etc...  SInce it is not her room it doesn't
seem to phase her what the children do as long as they are quiet.... I
didn't want it in there, but it is one of the only rooms big enough....

I'd say--no way! What would they do there? Do you have toys? Are you set
up for active play? Kids need active play after being cooped up in school
all day.


AVOID IT!  if you can

GET A FULL-TIME aid out of it if you can't

Go with BEFORE school if you have a choice.

Grit your teeth and look for future options if you are stuck with
after-school babysitting.

I tried evening hours for my k-12 school...same few kids came every week
just to play computer games.

I changed to 30 minutes before came to do imcomplete
homework, research, until last 10 minutes when buses dumped most of kids
and lots of visiting.

An aid will allow for you to still be librarian, helping research etc.
Even if you can only get a parent (or more) to volunteer help.

Good luck!


The school my children attend offers before and/or after school "extended
day" programs for children.  The "before school" students meet in the
cafeteria, many of these students eat the hot breakfast offered.  The
larger "after school" students are divided into three groups - K-1st,
2nd-3rd, and 4th-5th. They meet in three different classrooms where
students eat an afternoon snack (if they brought one) and begin their
homework. After about thirty minutes (and all car riders have departed)
they go out on the playground for kickball, jump rope, etc.  They are
outside for about 45 min. They head back inside where they can finish
homework, play a board game, draw, color, etc. Parents who use the
extended day program do pay - it is not a free service. And the teachers
and paraprofessionals who work with the children are also paid.  The only
time the students have met in the library is when another program is
setting up (like Open House, PTA meetings, etc) in another room.  Good


Please suggest to them that they put it somewhere else!  Our kids program
is currently in our library before and after school.  Our carpet is only
two years old but it is severely stained from projects, snacks, etc.  The
children constantly tamper with the computers necessitating repairs.
Materials are left out and found everywhere.  It severely limits your time
to work before and after school and to get to the shelves in the morning.
We are on a fixed schedule and it limits my time for setting up for my
first class. Materials from the kids program are stored in my AV room,
media center, hallway, and painted projects are on the floor in our
workroom. They start to set up while I'm just picking up the papers and
materials used by my last class.  Fortunately, my principal has seen how
this interferes with our library and they are hopefully moving to the
multipurpose room next year. Suggest the art room or gym.


When I came to my school, after school care was already in the library. I
was not responsible for supervising...there were teachers for that...but
it was still a nightmare.  First off, we had more kids than there was room
in the library, so they were spread out all over the floor with all their
gear. You couldn't walk without stepping on someone. They were supposed to
do homework, but that never happened, and who can blame them for wanting
some down time after school?  But, they couldn't do anything until the
homework was done.

They came in at the end of the day, but I still had an  hour to work. The
noise level was so loud that I could not talk to vendors on the phone. Any
administrative work I needed to do was interrupted by kids who wanted to
check books out or needed help with research. I would leave before they
left for outside recess. The next day, the library was a disaster. Food
all over the place, although there was rule against food. Books that they
decided to read left on the floor, or shelved wherever...a big problem
when I was looking for a specific book for projects. Nothing was ever
taken, but I had to clean up and straighten up before the first class of
the day, even though they were supposed to do that themselves.

If you have any say, I would advise you to suggest they look elsewhere,
unless you can be assured that the library will be left neat and clean.
One of the happiest days of my life was when they moved the program out
into an
empty classroom by grade and age.


Fight it!  Oh, I hate when our after school program brings 40 kids in
there. I loose my planning time, the teachers can't come in to research,
and they basically trash it and it is so loud!  I only had to do it on
Tues. I begged my principal to cancel the people who borrow our gym and
they use that instead.  The other days they use the cafeteria.


We have had after school homework room for grades 1-6 in our 1-12 library.
(Yes, it's all together, although the collections are separated in
different rooms within the library.) It has not worked that well in my
opinion. The
initial feeling was that the students would have the library materials to
use in doing their homework. Guess what...they didn't need them, other
than an occasional dictionary. At one time we had high school students who
came in and studied or did research in the afternoon. The troop of "EDA"
(extended day activities) kids would come through making all sorts of
noise and chattering and totally disrupt the quiet studying of the older
kids. Now we no longer have the high school kids after school...they come
in the mornings when it's quiet. (Since you're an elementary school, this
probably isn't an issue...but what about your own students who come up
early to study?) We asked that an adult be with the EDA homework room to
supervise, but we have one young college student. Last year we were
missing more books at inventory time that we have missed in the 10 years I
have been in this school altogether, and 95% were from the primary library
room. We had no control after we left to go home at 4PM. We have come back
to find our telephone broken, rolls of stickers pulled out onto the
counter in the workroom, pictures drawn on the Cutter table (!!!), and
every pencil we own missing.  I must admit that it's somewhat better this
year because we convinced them to only bring kids who actually had
homework to do. Sighhh...i could go on and on....get out of this if you
can. Convince them to use a classroom somewhere. If they were actually
there to work and had homework that required some research, a case could
be made for having them in the library. But plain old Child Care??? If it
happens...bless you :-).

sorry...this is one of my soapbox issues :-)


Stick to No Way!   You and your library tech(if you have one) need time
without children before and after school to get work done.  If children
are there, you will find it difficult to say "no" to them when they ask
for help in using some of the library's resources.  You may well just walk
out "on time" at the end of the day, rather than stay late to do what
needs to be done. You deserve "quiet time" in your classroom at the end of
the day.  Good luck!


In my school district there are several libraries that have Child Care in
the library.  Fortunately, I do not have to have it in mine, so I can't
speak first hand.  However, the librarians here that have it generally
HATE it.  Child care will allow food-that usually ends up all over; they
do crafts--you can imagine the mess; and they will take books off the
shelves and put them anywhere.  Also, if a librarian wants to work in the
library in the morning or after school, there is child care.  If you have
an option, I guess I'd suggest NO WAY.


I could go on's the short version

We had childcare in the library with rotations to the gym and cafeteria.
It lasted for two long years in the library before anyone would listen to
me.  For example we had the rocking chair on TOP of the shelves, 40 some
books laying on the floor, books crammed everywhere, our desk gone
through, all of our toys for our students played with, broken, etc. as the
last straw.  My advice is to make sure that you set ground rules ahead of
time and discuss what would happen if there is a mess.  We did, it didn't
work!  I was coming back evenings to clean up before the next day so my
assistant and I wouldn't feel bad every morning.  At the middle school the
library was even worse!  It's like having some one live in your house that
you don't know!  My wonderful kids in the day pushed past the limits after
school and did stuff they never would while I was there!

You need to have childcare employees that buy into the school rules.
Another problem we have is that students have school rules during the day
and another set after school.  I have heard of lots of afterschool
programs that hire instructional assistants or teachers because they
already support the school and school programs!  Our program would have
substitutes for the afterschool workers that I "got" to set parameters
with.  There were subs for the subs.  They didn't have a clue!  Very
disheartening to continually clean up....

Contrast that with an after school group that two other teachers and I run
one day a week in the library:  We know what the school standard is and
hold to it.  We have already bought into our school system.  We hold kids
responsible and have a lot of fun!

You have to change your standard some and compromise.  However it can be
done!  But beware!  Not all people in charge of kids understand kids or
see things that they do.  Some are oblivious and think things are fine!
Good luck!


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