The Strandwood library, under the direction of Librarian Ruth Shumate, is an important part of the learning experience at our school. Students visit the library once a week, where they receive a lesson in library use and are exposed to literature both old and new.
Students are taught to use the library classification system to find books for research and pleasure. They can wander the stacks or use the available computers to locate a book. The computer system makes it possible for students to find books based on many criteria: author, subject, part of series, or reading level. Thanks to a volunteer project, books in our library are designated with a colored dot to indicate reading level. Through assessment in the Computer Lab or individual classrooms, teachers can determine a student's reading level, and a visit to the library allows the students to easily find an appropriate book.
Students are also taught to use reference materials, including atlases, dictionaries and encyclopedias, both online and hardbound. The library is also another opportunity for students to hear books read aloud. Mrs. Burns regularly reads to the students and annually presents the California Young Reader Medal nominees. The students enjoy voting on their favorite book and then learning if they have picked the winner. Our library collection is supported through an innovative program called Birthday Books. Families donate money for a new book, and on the student's birthday it is added to the collection with a bookplate commemorating the occasion. In addition, our PTA hosts a Book Fair twice a year and the profits are entirely directed to the library.
We feel fortunate at Strandwood to have a librarian and a supportive parent community to enhance and support our students' learning experiences.