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Lee and All,

My series are kept together for convenience sake. However most of the books
in my library are NOT series books. In order for a child to find a book on a
non-fiction topic, they must first go to the computer and look it up. Once
armed with the information (author, title, call #), they must then go to the
shelves to find it. The same thing applies to fiction books. We do NOT have
an army of librarians and clerks helping them locate the book. I might
direct a child to a section or shelf but if they have been taught the
Winnebago system they must check the shelf themselves.

On an average day, I may be the only adult in the room. Even if my part-time
aide or volunteers are available, there are usually more children needing
general help than there are people helping. Yes, we often have to explain
that 500-599 is not a call number and send them back to check for the call
number. Sometimes we have to due further searches when the catalog indicates
that there are 2 copies available but nothing is found on the correct shelf.
A class of kids all wanting biography books are going to need special
attention to find appropriate books. Etc. etc.etc.

However most of our kids do take out at least 3 books per week. In order for
them to find appropriate books, they must be taught to use the automated
circulation system. That takes place in Grade 2 and is re-enforced in every
grade thereafter while they are at my school. When a new student comes into
a class it is often a classmate who does the orientation based on their
knowledge and use of the system.

So please do not assume that we all spoon-feed our elementary kids just
because some of the high school students conveniently forget what they
learned back in elementary school or just like to be waited upon.

Jo Dervan-an elementary librarian for over 25 years
Josephine Dervan, Online Instructor & Course Author
School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Stout
School Library and Classroom Collaborations

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