Stu­dent Li­brar­i­ans Are Hands On Helpers

The Oakdale Leader - - NEWS - By TERESA HAM­MOND tham­mond@oak­dale­leader.com

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.”

TERESA HAM­MOND/THE LEADER

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.

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