Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Spanish Collection Make-Over

Tibbott School is a Bilingual Center, we have 27 classes and 14 of them are Spanish/Bilingual classes. I have been at Tibbott for 18 years, and have no plans of ever leaving my school. I received an endorsement in English as a Second Language a few years ago in order to support my ESL population. When I took over the library, there were just a handful of books in Spanish even though my school had been a Bilingual Center for as long as I have been there. One of my goals has always been to support all of my readers. I have worked hard to increase the numbers of books in my Bilingual/Spanish collection each year, and my collection is the largest among the other schools that service large groups of the district's population of Spanish speakers. Another goal I have is to make it easier for students to find books they would like to read. Earlier this year, I genrefied the Fiction section of my library in order to meet that goal.

I do find value in buying books that are Bilingual having the English and Spanish version of the text on the same page. I feel they are beneficial to students learning to speak English. In addition, they could be valuable to my native English speakers who might want to try  learning some  Spanish words. Many moons ago, I had high hopes that more of my students that primarily speak  English would check them out.  I even went as far as separating my Spanish section into two parts a Spanish part with special red and yellow stickers on the spines and a Bilingual section with blue and pink stickers on the spines. However, no matter how many high interest topics I purchased, and no matter how much I book talked them, they really only got circulated by my Spanish speaking students.

This fall I noticed something about the Spanish / Bilingual section I hadn't in the past. With my mom helping me twice I week, I have time to think and evaluate more than ever. I purchased new Spanish dinosaur books, and they were not getting circulated. Dinosaur books are one of the most circulated topics in the the Bilingual section, so I couldn't figure out why the new Spanish books weren't being checked out. I started informally talking to the students about their book choices when they had a Bilingual dinosaur book and asked them if they saw the new Spanish dinosaur books. When they asked where they were, they were shocked that they were on a shelf one to the left of where they found the book they were checking out.  They didn't realize that there were two places they could find books on dinosaurs in  this section. These conversations lead me to the conclusion that I no longer needed two sections for the Spanish books. What I needed to do was combine the two areas into one Spanish Section, this would make it easier for students to find what they were looking for.... now to find the time.

The Wednesday before Winter Break began, there was an extra substitute in the building, an occurrence that doesn't happen very often. The secretary asked if I could use some extra help in the library in the morning. (This is why you are always nice to the secretaries, they tend to take care of people who are nice to them!) With my mom already in the library that morning and the extra hands of a sub, I knew we could get the project done! First we placed the red and yellow stickers over all of the blue and pink stickers. Then they re-shelved all of the books into one Spanish section. It took about 3 hours, but by lunch it was finished. That afternoon I had two Spanish speaking classes in the library that responded positively to the change. Mission Accomplished!

Mrs. Groner and Mrs. Hughes posing in front of the Spanish Section they worked so hard on!

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