Library On Wheels
Our school community has changed in the last two years. Metis Beach school is currently under construction, and we are temporarily relocated in a remote location. Students have been unable to visit the Métis-sur-Mer Public Library located at Heritage during this time, not only due to the transport costs but the travelling time involved.
Courtesy of a joint collaboration between one of our major partners, Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, and the Réseau Biblio du Bas-St-Laurent, we are now bringing our students a Library-on-Wheels every 3-4 weeks. Melanie, Heritage Executive Director, hand picks over 500 new books to bring to the school for the students ranging in age from 4-17 years old. Heritage is already a big partner in our literacy project supporting our challenged readers with book bags and DRA books as needed, so the leap to a mobile library for all students, was a welcomed initiative.
Beep beep! It's the mobile library!
Our resident Bookworm - Who also happens to be
our very own school principal!
Of course, anything mobile requires a lot of time and physical labour. Initially, it was Melanie, her staff and I handling it, but now we have student volunteers waiting for her at the door, not only to haul the huge bins but to set up the books on display.
What started as just a reason to get out of class to go get a book, has led to students reserving books, discussing books with other students and teachers, buddy reading, etc. I constantly have students asking me “When is Melanie coming back?”, “Can I reserve books?”, “Can Melanie get this book?” “I really like it when Melanie and the library comes!” “Can I take out more than 4 books?” and so on. It is music to my ears to hear the students getting excited about reading!
Parents, volunteers, and school staff are also pleased with the mobile library. It is wonderful to see the interaction between the students and their “mobile librarian”. They not only reserve or order books from her, but discuss storylines, themes, new releases, authors, and more.
Although we will be back in our new school next year and close to the library, we are planning to continue with themed mobile displays, such as Remembrance week, Black History Month, or simply any request from the teachers and/or students. We are borrowing the “build it, they will come”, moto for this on-going project.
Selfishly, this project has been very satisfying for me too. It has been nothing but a delight seeing our kids getting so excited and involved with the library-on-wheels and the joy of reading.
The teachers have also added some additional incentive for the students to continue reading: we have a reading worm that is inching its way across the walls of the entire school with each book read. If our worm reaches the principal’s office by the end of the school year, Mr. Mitchell has agreed to dress up as a fairy for the end-of-the-year school BBQ...wings and all!
Both Melanie and I have realized that with all the excitement neither of us have had the time to take many pictures, which is something that will be rectified with our next library-on-wheels visit.
We are truly fortunate to have the collaboration of such great partners that are always ready and willing to help us in any way possible.
“There is no power for change greater then a community discovering what it cares about.” - Margaret J. Wheatley
Metis Beach School
Metis Beach CLC @ Ste-Jeanne-d'Arc de Matane
Eastern Shore School Board
Address: 207 rue Principale, Sainte-Jeanne d'Arc de Matane, QC G0J 2T0
Telephone: 418-776-5263 #5514
Community Development Agent: Lynne Bruce
CLC Since: 2006
Program: Pre-Kindergarten - Secondary 5