Volumes of Wealth
Much of my time is spent looking at budgets, planning budgets, talking about budgets, revising budgets, and balancing budgets. Sometimes however, a budget cannot begin to cover real value. We are so very lucky here at SAS. Many caring adults work hard to help children learn, but one area that I am especially appreciative of is our library. With my office so close, I often get to hear the stories and the interactions of children and books and Book Bunny. Some libraries are quiet, tomb-like places, but our library is not only a bustling place of learning; it also offers nooks for independent reading and resources for research. Technology is always important and must be kept current to be beneficial, but the importance of books can never be understated, and just like technology a library constantly needs to be updated.
Our library houses over 8000 books, yet every 6 months about 2000 more children’s books are published. Periodically, Mrs. Bush purges books that are too tattered, outdated, or just not circulated anymore, to make room for new books. Although the average cost of books purchased last year was $15.00, most of our non-fiction, research books are specially bound, costing $30-40 each. Picture books bound to last many, many years of love and reading can cost as much as $22 each. Aside from the purchase of books, the library also keeps up with periodicals, and online subscriptions for resources, such as our online encyclopedia.
Our library operates using money generated from the book fairs, read-a-thons, and specific donations. Through the generosity of a patron years ago, we are able to continue our annual author visits, which is one of our favorite traditions at SAS. The special visit from Eric Litwin last month was an extra treat for our students (and teachers)! The school community’s support of our library is greatly appreciated, and is never taken for granted.
On any given day, the library is a hub of reading, research, sharing, and storytelling. Mrs. Bush is reading a beloved picture book to a preschool class, encouraging students to read with thoughtfully chosen books geared toward each child's specific interests, guiding middle school students through a technology writing project, and working with teachers to find curriculum resources. I am very proud of the rich culture of reading that we have here at St. Anne and much of it stems from our library. To paraphrase a favorite quote of mine: books can take you anywhere, when you just want to stay put.
Our library provides lots of stay-put time with books.