One of the traits I love about middle school students is that they will let you know without hesitation what the media center needs in order to keep them coming in. If you have ever visited a middle school library, one of the problems you might observe is the little time students have to search for a book. Another common problem for classes that require their students to choose a book for an assignment are the complaints from students who say they can’t find a book that interests them.
After surveying each grade level for ways to improve library services it was discovered that students would prefer a more mature vibe in the media center, ditching the traditional Dewey system they experienced in elementary school for a more genre-centered library experience.
Making reading more appealing, or worthy of slighting online gaming time, means that the environment and selection in the media center has to be updated and student driven. I discovered that the more choices students had in what to read, the better they become at it. The more book selections a student had, the better the browsing sk
Students often times aren't exactly sure of what they are looking for when coming in to the media center which makes it harder for them to choose a book in the limited amount of time they have to search.
Funding for Ditching Dewey in the media center will provide students with customized school colored shelf signage labeling genres in bold text on a maroon background framed in silver by sections in the media center.
As a middle school librarian my primary goal is to see students look for books on their own rather than coming straight to the circulation desk asking for assistance. Literacy research has shown that the majority of students rely on friends and family to aid in the selection of books.
To help meet student searching and selection needs the media center is taking steps towards labeling genre specific spaces that encourage self-directed selection while creating a more user-friendly layout.
Genre specific spaces in the library means rearranging existing sections into well marked genre-based areas where each new section's genre is prominently displayed. Students would go directly to the section they are interested in without having to waste precious time searching and then determining what each section is about.
Creating a media center that is genre centered with new signage for each dedicated shelf gives our students a place to start, a place that excites and informs them about books, a place to discover books they will enjoy reading, a place that entices them to come back to again and again.
Confident and independent searchers, feeling empowered to freely choose pleasure or assigned reading in an easier-to-navigate genrefied media center arrangement is the goal of Ditching Dewey.
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