My Librarian Heart is Singing

I recently accompanied my eighth grade seminar students and their (amazingly brilliant) language arts teacher, Ms. E, to our (gigantic, beautiful, breathtaking) downtown library. It was such a rich experience, for both the adults and the students. I truly believe it should be a once a week occurrence. Okay, yeah right, but a librarian can dream! At the beginning of the year, each student chose a topic and has been formulating questions and developing outlines based on that topic. Ms. E and I team-taught a quick demonstration on how to search for books in the downtown library and students then conducted their searches and made lists of books they would like to look for the following day.
After boarding the city bus (even this part was a great experience, the kids were awesome and the bus driver was friendly), we took a quick ride downtown and arrived at the library. Ms. E separated the kids into small groups based on like-call numbers. Once inside, groups helped one another locate their books. Seeing as how the non-fiction section is two (huge) floors, I was super impressed how the students managed their time, helped one another and came back to a central location when they’d found what they needed. I was also giddy to see the kids asking the public librarians questions and thanking them for their help (yippie!!!).
It gets even better… All of the kids found books for their topic, two students signed up for library cards (every student has an active library card with the city or county library, but some of them have gotten to the age where they can get a card independent from their parents and they were excited to take advantage of that privilege), they were desperate to go to the Young Adult section and check out the fiction books, and they continued to ask to check out additional books they discovered (not for their projects, just because they wanted them!). Big, big sigh. This was such an amazing experience. They learned so much and had fun doing it. It makes my heart sing. And THAT is why I think it should be a once a week outing. I’m just saying…
 

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