Student Librarians Are Hands On Helpers
Fair Oaks Elementary School has more than a new library and media center on campus. Thanks to the leadership and passion of Library Technician Geneva Franciosa, it is also tended to by a dozen Junior Librarians. A program she first began over three years ago.
“I’d had a lot of students that wanted to help,” Franciosa said of implementing the program. “I thought of making it like a club.”
Upon doing a bit of research partnered with her own passion and ideas, Franciosa created the position of Junior Librarians. Due to a smaller previous space the program began with six students ranging from grades four to six. The new facility has allowed for the expansion, based on space and need.
“It’s a lot to manage,” she said of the volunteer students. “If I have too many it will be overwhelming.”
Students are chosen for the position based on their persistence, library skills, independent nature and ability to work well with others. In order to be considered, they are encouraged to complete an application on the library website.
Typically speaking, the library tech begins recruitment from the fourth grade with hopes that students remain in the program the whole three years. She noted that the training takes time, so she looks to longevity, as well as how they may help train future Junior Librarians. Positions are also filled based by grade level if a student should need to drop the program unexpectedly versus aging out to middle school.
As a volunteer program, students are expected to give one hour of volunteer time to their library responsibility each week. They are open to choose between times before school, first recess, lunch period or after school. No class time is taken for the Junior Librarian position.
A list of responsibilities include: organization of library cards, shelving books, catalog books, label books, as well as help students and assisting with the move from the past location to current.
“They’re really great kids,” Franciosa said of the students. “They’re really hands on. I think they like the responsibility and being able to help other students.”
The Library Technician confided that, as an empty nester, she values her time with her junior helpers, sharing a special bond with each of them, as most teachers do with students.
“It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun,” she stated, “but it’s rewarding.”
Fair Oaks Elementary school Junior Librarians volunteer one hour of their free time each week, to help maintain library responsibilities under the guidance of Library Technician, Geneva Franciosa. Photographed clockwise from back left: Jaxton Morton, Joseph Yakligian, Connor Hohenwarter, Madelyn Fouts, Alanna Rausch, Declan Hynes, Kylee O’Neal, Payton Avila, Reece Riley, Taylor Hay and Kate Brown.