The Lower School Library at ACS Hillingdon has been a favourite place of mine for many years. Many. It has been located in different spots around the school and has gone through a variety of different styles and had different librarians reading to different students. One thing, however, has remained constant. Beautiful, plentiful, available books. Magic.
I have the privilege of taking on the role of caretaker for this stunning collection. Many of these treasures were brought in to our library by Mrs. Travers, whom I have the gift of calling my friend. Even more lovely books were added by Ms. Arika, who has a passion for putting these books into kids' hands. Now it is my turn, and I feel honoured.
My name is Mrs. Hartnett. This is my third time working here at Hillingdon. Previously, I taught 4th grade and 5th grade at the school. The students are a joy to work with, as is the staff. I'm so pleased to be back.
I've been in the States for the last 10 years, working in an urban school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA... about in the middle of the continent, near the Canadian border. I'm thankful for the learning and growing I did as an educator there. When the opportunity arose to return to ACS, however, I jumped at it and I look forward to being here again!
Please come in and enjoy the space and the books. I have that privilege every day and I hope to share it with you often.
Today we transformed our hallways into a plethora of book characters. Hermiones and Harrys were plentiful in their Gryffindor colours, Alice was standing not far from two Queens of Hearts, Wally was Found, Henry was Horrid, and Dorothy brought along Toto and a rather tall mouse carried its cookie as it looked for a cold glass of milk. Several Middle School classes were able to provide a downstairs audience for us and it was thrilling to walk through that corridor and hear their supportive cheers for book characters. What FUN!
On February 14, Valentine’s Day, we’re inviting Hillingdon staff members and lower school parents to read stories to groups of children throughout the day.
All readings will take place in the Green Room with several stories being read simultaneously at stations around the room. Children from one grade level will rotate through stations so readers will read several times within one session. We’re looking for readers to commit to one of the blocks of time below:
Reading to 3rd graders: 9.15-10.00
Reading to 1st graders: 10.15-11.00
Reading to 2nd graders: 12.45 - 1.30
(4th grade will read to Pre-K and Kindergarten)
We’d appreciate your involvement so if you’re interested in joining us, please contact me with your preferred time.
Additionally, our favorite Irish storyteller, Niall de Burca, will be telling tales in the Red Room that day, so we’d love our parent readers to join us for one of his sessions. Niall is incredibly entertaining and I promise you’ll enjoy yourself if you attend. His sessions are as follows:
9.15 - 10.00: PreK and K hear Niall de Burca
10.15 - 11.00: 3rd grade hears Niall de Burca
12.45 - 1.30: 4th grade hears Niall de Burca
2.00 - 2.45: 1st and 2nd grades hear Niall de Burca
Thanks so much,
When I walked into our library on the first day back after Spring Break, I wasn't sure what I thought of the shelves. I knew they were colorful and had that nice smell of new construction. I was pleased to find that they were extra sturdy and I thought the children might see more book covers from the display shelves.
What I didn't expect was the transformation this change of floor plan would have on our library classes. With this new set-up our library is now almost divided into little rooms and these have an effect on the way the kids share books with each other. Instead of calling out across the room, delighted by the books they've just found, or being distracted by classmates asking for help, our students now seem to gravitate to more intimate spaces, whether alone or in small groups. Once there, they explore and enjoy the books in hand.
The children tell me they love it. They like the archway and the reading benches. They can reach every item. More than one have said to me, "It looks like you have a lot of new books!" and that says to me that displays are getting their attention. So to sum it all up, it was worth all the measuring, the decision making, the e-mails, the color choices, the moving out and moving in. We ALL love it.
Every year, our counsellor, Mrs Seaberg, uses one of her favorite books to talk to kids about dealing with change. It's called "Who Moved My Cheese?" and is a kids' version of a popular adult book on the importance of navigating change in our lives in a positive way.
I thought of that story this morning when some of my morning kids (the crew who come in early to listen to a Friday Morning Folktale) were telling me that they didn't want our library to change because they love it just the way it is. I couldn't agree more. Our library is warm, colorful, welcoming, and filled to the brim with appealing children's books, but safety is also important and our shelving is a little too old to be perfectly strong and is a little too tall to be perfectly safe. So, a new library design has been drawn up and accepted, colors have been chosen and shelving is being constructed just for us, as I type.
In two weeks' time we'll be relaxing on our Spring Break, but the facilities crew will be here taking out the old shelves, painting the walls and laying new carpet so that everything is ready for the new library to be installed during the first week in April.
I'll miss my old shelves and story-steps terribly, but cannot wait to make our new library just as warm, colorful, welcoming, and filled to the brim with appealing children's books as ever!