With the 3rd-8th Grade library closed for the construction of an all-school library, research, cross-disciplinary, and technology space, librarians Karenn Ressa and Lauren Florez have adopted the mantra that "the show must go on." For the literacy and pleasure reading aspects of the library program, Ressa and Florez have developed pop-up programs such as a Friday reading club (with tea and cookies) for Upper School and a themed story-time series for younger grades where Mrs. Florez selects appropriate books that foster thoughtful consideration and discussion of character development topics. She recently introduced inclusivity concepts to Pre-K through "All Are Welcome" by Alexandra Penfield and empathy in 1st Grade through "Be Kind" by Pat Zeitlow Miller.
For the school's research needs, parents, teachers, and students have been advised to take advantage of a rich online resource within the Academic Portal. Ressa and Florez have curated a springboard for high-quality research databases. All material has been fact-checked and organized around topics and grade appropriateness. There is also fiction in the form of free e-books and audio books. Thoughtful planning ensured that key sets of commonly used research books for specific grades' projects have remained accessible in satellite library spaces, such as the 4th Grade state books and 5th & 6th Grade history research books.
Students do miss having the library as a morning gathering place. They miss browsing book choices from the shelves with the advice of their teachers. Yet they will gain so much more starting next year and thereafter.