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Business is booming at elementary school libraries

Students are back in the libraries in the Gates Chili elementary schools and they’re eager to explore what the facilities have to offer!


At Walt Disney Elementary School, that means a vast range of books to investigate during library time, and to take home and enjoy. Librarian Beth Larter says that circulation for the first two months of this school year is leaps and bounds ahead of last year’s totals, now that students can browse, pull a book off the shelves and enjoy it.


“The biggest thing is just giving them access...because it’s their library,” said Larter. Students also have access to STEAM-based educational activities and stations to explore while their classmates browse the shelves and check out books. Larter also credits the spike in circulation to the full-time aide assigned to the library, Roxanne Connelly, who helps students check out and return books every time they visit.


Stacey Porter, the librarian at Paul Road Elementary School echoed that, saying aide Karen NaDell helps manage the checkout process so that she can be as hands-on and engaged with the students as possible during their time in the library. Porter says that a year of students interacting digitally with library services has left the older elementary students with a great skill set for reserving and looking up books on their computers.


“The neat thing is, we did so much on the computers last year, now they know how to use the computer systems and we’re mixing that with having to go find books on the shelf.” said Porter. But the thing Porter is most excited about for her students?


“Really, it’s just being back in the library and physically seeing the books.”

Three students play with STEAM building toys at a table in a school library Young student sits on a bench with an adult library staff member as she reads the student a book