9 Library Videos in Honor of National Library Week

National Library Week 2015School libraries are changing. Many elementary school libraries are being reconfigured, remodeled and revitalized to reflect new demographics and 21st-century innovations.

In honor of National Library Week, which starts April 12, we handpicked nine videos to highlight the unlimited possibilities of libraries in today’s elementary schools.

Libraries are at the heart of learning

Julie Hembree, a teacher-librarian at AG Bell Elementary in Kirkland, Washington, addresses the importance of helping today’s young students leverage technology while moving away from the 20th-century orientation of using index cards to locate books.

As one library expert notes in “Teacher Librarians at the Heart of Student Learning,” this is the “most exciting time in education, ever.” The Washington Library Media Association (WLMA) production includes elementary school students and library staff.

Libraries teach students routines

Procedures are vital to student achievement at every grade level in every school. This includes libraries, as “Elementary Library Routines” demonstrates.

Narrated by Brianna L. and featuring the second-grade class of Mrs. Cindi Kees, the video captures the playfulness and importance of libraries. Although the opening Samba-style music sets the stage for lively learning, this video — produced by Edgerton School District in Wisconsin — demonstrates that today’s libraries remain bastions of good organization.

As  the young narrator succinctly says, following routines in a school library makes it easier for everyone to find what they’re looking for, whether it’s book, a computer or a quiet space.

Libraries inspire creative minds

Fifth-grade students at Indian Pines Elementary School in Lake Worth, Florida, produced a parody-style music video to promote reading and libraries. “Read It! Read a Book” is a thrilling promo performed by a group of young students who sing the praises of their elementary school library.

Against a backdrop of books — from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” to “Goosebumps,” with Dr. Seuss and Scooby Doo making guest appearances — the students don’t miss a beat. It’s difficult not to smile as you watch this video and wonder why anyone would question the value of children’s books and school libraries.

Libraries teach kids how to search

This video explains that today’s libraries are dynamic spaces in transition. Produced by Capstone Publishing, “School Libraries Matter: The Changing Role of the School Librarian” is honest and well-paced.

A host of educators — including Superintendent of Schools Arturo Cavazos of Harlingen, Texas — explain the importance of balancing today’s quest for instant gratification against traditional, time-tested books that promote literacy. Rebecca Miller, editorial director of “School Library Journal,” notes that library professionals still teach kids how to navigate information, conduct research and have fun.

Libraries can still be transformed

Tynan Elementary School Library Makeover” tells the story of how one Boston public school transformed its library.

The video opens with a heartfelt introduction by Tynan Elementary School Principal Leslie Grant. With financial help from private companies and nonprofit organizations that include Target, Suffolk Construction, the Heart of America Foundation and the Greater Boston Food Bank, the school was able to bring its library into the 21st century.

The video showcases the efforts of community volunteers who helped rebuild the library, along with footage of students engaged in learning.

Libraries promote new teaching roles

The distinction between 20th-century libraries and today’s teacher-librarians becomes clear as you watch this video.

Produced by the California School Library Association, “Does Your School Have a Teacher Librarian?” begins with a somewhat somber examination of today’s libraries. Students then make an appearance, and it’s immediately obvious that libraries are all about them.

From elementary to high school, dozens of students explain why books and computers, and other resources found in today’s library spaces, are necessary components of learning.

Libraries embrace the digital age

A lot of libraries, and the professionals who maintain them, have embraced the digital age.

Library Media in the 21st Century – Part One: Physical Space & Student Projects” explains how libraries are transformed from book repositories with separate, oversize desktop computer stations to technology centers that integrate svelte notebook computers.

Produced by Kettle Moraine School District in Wales, Wisconsin, the video introduces the district’s library media specialists.

The video shows — and tells — how one library was updated and renovated, as librarians learn new skills that are vital in the information age.

Libraries are marrying technology

The image of Marian the librarian from “The Music Man” has changed, as one of the hosts of this video mentions.

Libraries: Where the present meets the future” illustrates that today’s librarian-teachers, media specialists and support staff have converged. Produced by Lee’s Summit R-7 library department in Missouri, this video covers a lot of territory.

Librarian-teachers still collaborate with teachers on curriculum development, and they still must know how to index books. But with today’s computers, librarians must also help students find what they’re searching for on literal shelves and online.

Libraries are student havens

Rosie Borboa, principal of Brletic Elementary School in Parlier, California, narrates this video with an articulate message that makes clear how important today’s libraries are to learning.

Library to Learning Commons” demonstrates how enlarging libraries brings more students into the academic fold. As Borboa points out, libraries matter precisely because computers and other multimedia tools have migrated naturally into the space where books are traditionally housed. Today’s students still feel safe and free to explore and seek knowledge inside libraries, the principal says.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the demise of libraries has been grossly exaggerated. Today’s library professionals are embracing new media as they rush to meet the demands of young minds eager to read texts in all kinds of digital and analog formats, including printed books.

Find out why people of all ages still love checking out books with the ALA’s National Library Week, which kicks off April 12 and will use the hashtag #librarymade. The celebration continues on April 14 with National Library Workers Day. That’s followed by National Bookmobile Day on April 15. Then, on April 16, Celebrate Teen Literature Day raises literacy awareness and the importance of promoting reading genres aimed at young adults.

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