Wednesday, April 30, 2014

4th Graders Go Shopping, Research, Evaluate and Recommend Books For Our Library!

Today I decided to try something new with my students. I decided to include them more actively in the selection choices for our library! I have always chatted with students about their "wish lists". Over time, like most librarians, I have developed a book "spidey" sense about what students will be most likely to grab from our shelves. I want nothing more than to purchase books that will find their way into the hearts of my students. 

So today I wanted to get students more involved! I wanted to let students in on the part of my job that is really fun, engaging, and at times really difficult!  Let me explain.

I, like most librarians, can't afford to buy all of the books that I would like to buy for our library. With over 10,000 children's books published each year, there aren't too many libraries that can afford all of the books that they want. So we must live within our budget and buy the most desirable books for the students we serve! When I buy books for our library, I research and I evaluate before I select. 

Wouldn't it be great for our students to research and evaluate! They are more vested in the books that are selected, so they should be naturals at it! 

I began by sharing links for students to go directly to the children's sections of and, both sites that I frequently look at to see what's new! I asked each student to read through the new books, select the one that "called" out to them and then recommend based on a criteria. They shared their recommendations on a Padlet wall!


Have you checked to see that the OHE library doesn't already own this book?

Is it age appropriate for an elementary library?  Find the age range for the book.

Does it have customer reviews?  How many stars?  Good?  Not so good?

Does the book seem to have "curb appeal" - meaning does it have appealing cover art?

What interests you about the book?  Be specific.

Do you feel other students will also want to read the books?

I learned a great deal by watching my students sift through their choices! Clearly I need more Minecraft and Gamer's Editions!  I also decided that my students are very motivated by new books, not that it was a big surpise! Finally, I loved how thoughtful they were to pick the very best that they could find for our library! They were good shoppers!