(That's the British spelling of encyclopedias. Those extra letter a's are really growing on me).
As an Education PCV I have a number of education objectives I can choose from for my primary projects. One of those objectives is increasing the use of the library. I didn't realize how much I would love this project! It is definitely my favorite part of my service.
I am the Co-Librarian at my school, although at this point it is pretty much just me by myself. The other Co-Librarian is also a teacher and an administrator which leaves him very little time for the library. So what is a PCV tasked with sustainability to do? Train the students!
We had two library prefects in Form 4, but nothing in the other three forms. So I put up a notice asking for students to help me in the library. Now I have six Library Monitors in addition to the two Library Prefects.
It has been such a blessing having their help in the library. They help students find books, put away book returns, monitor the students in the library, and translate for me when a student has a problem. They also let me know if we are low on certain books, and pass on announcements about the library to their classes. In return, the Library Monitors get to use the library during any free periods instead of just their assigned Library Period.
I am also training the Library Monitors in the use of the library as a resource. We meet about twice a month to discuss library issues and learn about the library. So far I have taught them how to use a table of contents, glossary and index and how to find the different books students need.
Yesterday's meeting was about the use of encyclopedias and dictionaries. My school library has two sets of World Book Encyclopedias and about four dictionaries, but students rarely use them. I am hoping to change that, and the Library Monitors are a big part of that.
Our meeting ended with a competition. I divided them into two teams and gave each team a set of questions to answer using the encyclopedias and dictionaries. The first team to answer all five questions correctly won stickers and Pez candy (thanks Mom and Paul)!
Here are the questions:
1) What is the population of Belgium?
2) What is a hoopoe?
3) Which country grows the most potatoes?
4) Who was Socrates?
5) What does "prose" mean?
Here they are researching the answers:
They really seemed to enjoy the game, and I think they will start using these books more. Now I hope they will tell other students about them too.
During our meeting we also decided to form a Library Club that is open to other students. Then we can train them in the library too. The term is almost over so I am hoping to start that next term.