Read about our Library

  • Thank you for visiting PS #81's library website.  I have so much to share with you!

    Make sure to visit our sideshows to see new books that have been added to the library.

    Reach me at abcarl(at)

    What is Miss Carl's job? 

    This is the question I am most often asked!  Students know that part of my job is sharing stories with them, and helping them choose books.  Being a librarian is far more interesting than checking books out to students.  Here are some librarian facts:
    • School librarians must have a Masters Degree in Library Science as well as an education degree.  That's right, we are certified teachers!
    • A science teacher may be considered an expert in science.  In that sense, a librarian is an expert in research.
    • Been hearing the buzz words "information literacy?"  That's my job!
    • Librarians teach students research skills, including book and internet use, if you can "trust" a website, note taking, citations, etc.  Anything that is related to writing a research paper or completing a project, we teach.  
      • This is not the same thing as teaching a student the information needed for the project.  We teach them how to find the information needed for the project.  Then we also help them find that information.
    • Librarians have to manage and maintain the collection of books.  
      • The library at PS 81 contains more than 5000 books that I have to keep track of, put away, or remove, if the information is outdated.
      • I must also order new books, both fiction and nonfiction that support the curriculum.  These books are chosen based on collection needs, positively peer reviewed materials, as well as teacher and student suggestions.

    What do we do at the library?

    The list of things students do at the School 81 Library could go on forever!  Here is just a general overview of what you can expect your child to be doing in the library:

    • Our Pre-K and kindergartners visit the library and listen to stories that are usually seasonal, or focus on basic skills like colors, letters and numbers.
      • After listening, I ask the students questions based on what was just read.  This supports the Common Core because the answers must be from the text, and not how the students feel about what was read.
      • Students also work on basic library skills like the parts of a book, alphabetical order, and book care.  By the end of Pre-K, the students are able to put books away on the shelf in the correct place.
    • 1st graders begin the year focusing on library skills.  Eventually, students will be doing shared research projects.
      • Students practice alphabetical order by last name.  Though it may seem simple to adults, this is actually a very difficult concept for our young students to grasp.  It is a very important skill because it forces them to begin paying more attention to the author of the book.  This will help them locate books, an important research skill.
      • Don't worry!  We still have story time.  We read more non-fiction, as expected by the Common Core.  Students answer questions, and often come up with questions that guide our shared research projects.   
    • Comparing and contrasting is the goal of our 2nd Graders.  We start by reading a well known fairy tale, like Little Red Riding Hood, or Cinderella.  During the following visits, we read a different version of the same story, and ask the students to compare the stories.
      • Usually the story is different because it originates from another country.
      • These lessons specifically target many aspects of the Common Core.
        • Compare and contrast
        • Learning about other countries
        • Geography
        • Infering information from the text.  For example: "What is the weather like in this county?" "Hot and sunny."  "How do you know?"  "The people in the book are wearing shorts.  The plants look tropical."
        • Answering text based questions
      • This year, students will also be required to use World Book Online to see a comparison of the United States and the other country of origin.  They will be asked questions based on the comparison they read.
    • During 3rd grade, we continue with reading stories from other parts of the world.  Students will then read a short article about the country of origin and answer questions about that country.
      • This will lead to the first full research project students will complete in the library.  Each student will select a favorite story that we have read (or one they want to read on their own) and will then research the country of origin.  
      • While students have done similar projects - I will require them to write a few paragraphs long essay where they will report about the country AND explain how the story and the country relate.  
        • Students will be required to use basic citations.
        • Our students are not too young to complete this project.  They all have the ability to read and write.  I want to push students in their work because I believe that they can do the work!
    • 4th grade is when we make the final transition from reading and writing to research and writing.
      • Story time is completely out of the picture.  Instead, students will be using on and offline resources to complete research based projects. 
      • As the year goes on, we will go from "guided research" to research based on what is being taught in their classrooms.
      • Students will be using the library iPads to work on these projects and produce multiply different final products.
        • Students will create a timeline as their first project.
        • Students will use apps like Prezi, Puppet Pals, and audioboo to create a plethora of products.
          • Research does not always have to lead to a final essay.  There are many different ways students can present their information!
    • From 5th grade on, students no longer visit the library on a regularly scheduled basis.  
      • Teachers have required projects for their class.  They may collaborate with the librarian and bring students down to the library to work on these projects.
      • This is called a flexible schedule.  Teachers can schedule time to work in the library OR with the librarian in the computer lab based on the needs of their students.
      • Teachers may also send small groups down to the library to work on a project independently or with some guidance from the librarian.