Martin Elementary School

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Library User Handbook

Mamie Martin Library User Handbook
Our Vision
Our vision at Mamie Martin Elementary library is to build a collaboration between our library staff and classroom teachers which produces a school library program that strenghtens the curriculum by bridging the information literacy gap.
Our Mission
Here at Mamie Martin we serve youngest members of our learning community and our library is tailored to recognize this fact. We want our students to by inquisitive.  This will encourage lifelong information literacy and learning through reading and searching for answers.  We want all students to feel welcomed.  We provide the most inviting environment possible within our financial capabilities.  We want our students to be exposed to the highest and most accurate information available.  We accomplish this by weeding and replacing outdated material as often as possible.   
Library Hours
The library is open between the times of 8:00 and 3:30, with the exception of 11:25 - 11:50.  Open checkout for second grade is 9:10 - 11:25.  Open checkout for first grade is 11:50 - 1:05.  Open checkout for kindergarten is 1:10 - 2:25. Students are allowed to check out books at these times, as well as during their regular weekly visit to the library.
How Many Books Can a Student Checkout?
First and second grade students are allowed to have two books checked out at any time, provided that they have no overdue books.  When a book becomes overdue, the student can no longer checkout a book until the overdue is returned. Kindergarten students often do not checkout books.  Whether or not a kindergarten student checks out library books is left up to the kindergarten teacher, and then they are allowed one book at a time.  All students are expected to return library books in the same condition that they are in when they leave the library.
Library Behavior for Students
Students are expected to follow all school rules while visiting our library.  There is absolutely NO running in the
in the library. Food and drinks of any kind are not to be brought into the library.  This includes gum and candy that is given by other teachers as a reward.  Harassment and disrespect towards other students or adult will be quickly addressed.  Students are expected to take responsibility for the materials they are using.  They are expected to use the library without making a mess of the shelves, and to put materials back where they were originally located.  Libraries are quiet places by the nature of their intended use.  The library at Martin is no different.  Loud noises will not be tolerated. Regretfully, any infraction of these guidelines my result in library privileges being suspended for a day.
Library Behavior for Adults
Adults accompanying students are expected to maintain a quiet tone.  It is part of their job to make sure that their students are not disarranging the books.  Small talk with other adults should be limited.  Students who witness loud adults will assume that it is okay if they are also loud.
When a Student Is Not Allowed To Check Out a Book
Regretfully students are not allowed to check out books from time to time. This can occur when a student misbehaves, but it usually happens when a student does not bring back library books on time, or brings them back in a damaged condition that renders it unusable. We try to solve the problem as soon as possible. If a book is lost, it must be paid for before checkout privileges can be restored.  If the book is damaged, we will repair it, if possible.  We cannot accept books that are returned after having been wet. This almost always results in the pages developing mold or mildew, which renders them useless.  We can usually repair a torn page, provided that the page is not missing, or someone without experience has tried to repair the book with the wrong materials, such as black electrical tape.  If one passage is torn from a book such as the ones on our shelves, the validity of the entire book is compromised, which usually means that the book has to be weeded from our collection.  
Library Fines
We only collect fines for damaged or lost books.  No fines or fees are collected for overdue books.  The penalty for overdue books is suspension of checkout privileges until the book has been returned to circulation.
How To Find Books On Our Shelves
Our books are shelved according to the Dewey Decimal System.  Our students are taught to use the Dewey Decimal System at the beginning of the year.  It is a complicated system for young students, so we continue to school them on it as often as possible.  Most of the students comprehend quickly that nonfiction and fiction titles are shelved separately from each other.  They have to understand the importance of the spine label, so we refer to that as often as possible.
There are two labels on the spine of most of our books.  The first is the spine label.  It is white and located on the bottom of the book's spine.  The book's call numbers are written on the spine label.  Nonfiction titles have numerical call numbers and are shelved in numerical order, according to what is written on the spine label. A book about a soft furry animal will usually have a call number that begins with "599", so that is where you will usually find books about dogs, cats, monkeys, etc., but there are exceptions.  Animals used in an industrial setting, such as dairy cows, pedigree cats and dogs.  These will have a call number of 636, and will be found in the technology section, rather than the pure science section.  Fiction titles are a little easier.  The call number will include four letters, which consist of the letter "F" for "fiction, followed by three more letters, which are the first three letters of the author's last name.  All of the books about Arthur, the Big Red Dog, will have a call number of "F BRI", since they were all written by Norman Bridwell, and they will all be on the shelves with other books that were written by authors whose last names begins with "B".  It's confusing at times, but this is the system approved by our state department of education, and it is the standard for most libraries.
The next label that is on most of our books is the AR label.  This is there to help students quickly spot a book on their level.  The dots are color coded and this helps the younger students to quickly locate material that they are required to find.  Some pf our books are not included in the Accelerated Reader program, and they do not have a color coded dot.  Students sometimes ask if they can check these out.  Students are welcome, and encouraged to check them out, however they have no tests on the AR program, and the students will not get points for reading them.  They are on the shelves simply for the interests of the students.
We also have a barcode on each book.  This is scanned under the student's account when they bring the book to the circulation desk in order to check it out.  When books are returned with any of these labels removed, the student who is turning them in will not be allowed to check out a book for one day.  It's a big job to keep all these things proper working order.  Replacing them wastes our supplies, and we don't take such infractions lightly.
Our Collection
Presently our general collection that is available to all students contains about twice as many fiction titles as nonfiction.  We are trying to increase the nonfiction by purchasing those at a ratio of about 3:1 as compared to fiction titles.  This should bring us in compliance with the prescribed standards.  Other than the general collection that is shelved on the perimeter walls of the library, we also have a small Professional collection, available only to the staff.  It is located in the room opposite of the main entrance into the library.  There is also a video collection, comprised of DVD and VHS format, housed in the Resource Room.  We also have a small Reference collection shelved next to the circulation desk.  Reference materials do not leave the library except when checked out by a teacher.
Book Selection
Books are usually bought at the beginning of the year.  We try to purchase books that are relevant to the current times.  Many are chosen to replace an older book that needs to be removed.  We look for the most current copyrights.  We also take requests.  Teachers and students are welcome to recommend titles for consideration.  In order to make a request, print out the "Library Requests" page on the library website, fill in the information and submit it to the library.  All requests will be seriously considered, depending on finances, availability, and usefulness.
Teacher Checkouts
Teachers have unlimited checkout privileges.  Materials taken out by teachers are to be returned within a reasonable time.  If teachers allowing students to take materials that have been checked out in their names will be responsible for any damages incurred to those objects.  Teachers are to NEVER come into the library and remove anything from the shelves without checking it out first.