Willard Central Elementary Library

Librarian: Natalie Roth

Books, books, books...and so much MORE!

Walking into the Willard Central Library, your eye will most likely go to the bookshelves first. With over 12,000 print books on the shelves, our students and teachers have a lot from which to choose. And they do check out those books? Yes! With over 8,000 check-outs since August, we average about 100 items leaving the library every school day.

Over the past few years, our libraries have become so much more than books. The district librarians have always shared our passion of reading and supported teachers with the learning that happens in the classroom. But now, we offer a level of support and collaboration that has been enhanced by today's ever-expanding technologies. We are truly a 24/7 access point for books and information. For example, this year WC Library is continuing its database subscriptions with PebbleGo and Britannica, but have also added an online eBook subscription called BookFlix. Students can log in at school or home and have access to over 200 fiction and nonfiction titles with curated website links, associated learning games, and author biographies. In addition, many titles are presented in either English or Spanish, so the resource is useful to ESL students and teachers. These subscription services are in addition to the free online resources we have access to, like Tumblebooks (provided through Springfield-Greene County Library) and the charitable website We Give Books. Plus, publishers of print resources now extend their print books and magazines into the online world. WC students can access Sports Illustrated Kids and other publications (at our iPad center or at home) to view videos and eContent not seen in the print version. We have unprecedented access to quality reading material like never before.

Of course, all of these resources are a boon in helping our students learn. But the real key to raising competent, productive citizens is teaching them to navigate the seemingly endless amount of information available at the stroke of a finger. Librarians are in a prime position to assist teachers and students in this digital age. On a daily basis, I help teachers find resources that will enhance instruction, whether it is Hoyt's latest book on reading strategies or the perfect mentor text for teaching figurative language. I point students to the best print and online resources for their latest "wonder". I provide instruction on locating and evaluating resources so they can become equipped to find the information themselves. I am also looking forward, planning with other teachers on how to aid students in not only being users of information but creators of content, too. My most current plan involves fourth grade evaluating book trailers then creating trailers of their own. Mr. Medlin and I have also discussed making some changes to the current physical library space to support this Next Generation of students and teachers, things like more mobile tables, chairs, and bookshelves and a MakerSpace with audiovisual equipment.

Every morning, as I walk into the door of my school, I feel the privilege of calling myself "Librarian". I have followed my passion for reading to this library and have felt the rewards of working with young people, expert teachers, and rewarding content. I have also felt the challenge of keeping up as our society has morphed into a digital world. By connecting with those around me, and now those out in the wider world through services like Pinterest, Twitter, and Skype. I continue to grow in my profession. I am learning to take my library beyond it's concrete block walls and take my students on the adventure with me!

Quick Facts

Patrons: 350 students + faculty/staff

*Because of our union catalog and InterLibrary Loan, the libraries can serve ALL faculty and staff district-wide

Cataloged Items: 13,305

*This includes physical books, audiovisuals, realia, and equipment

eDatabase Subscriptions: 6

*This number reflects the services paid for directly by WC library budgets. Students also have access to and instruction on state-paid (ex. MoreNet's Searchasaurus) and district-paid (ex. RAZ-Kids) resources as well as the free resources judged appropriate for our students.

*Our newest database, BookFlix, came online in September and since that time it has been used to retrieve 1,745 items onsite and 2,858 items remotely for a total of 4,603 items used in those 3.5 months.

Student Workstations: 21

*The library owns 21 Chromebooks for use in the library or available for checkout. We also help manage the 1:1 Chromebooks for 3rd/4th grade, so in total their are 196 in the building.