Policies & Procedures for Mrs. Sibya's Libraries

Welcome to the Library P&P (Policies and Procedures) Page! Here you can find a breakdown of our current policies and procedures. Questions concerning how the library runs will most likely be answered on this page. If you have a question about anything library-related that isn’t addressed on this page, please contact me at shannonsibya@rsu57.org.

Entering the library

Students will sanitize their hands as they enter the library.  Smooth and silent transitions into and out of the library are expected. 

Check out

Returning students grades 1st-5th will have had practice on how to use our Destiny system to scan out their own books.  Students will be taught or be reviewing how to check out books for themselves by scanning their library barcode tags and their library books.  

This will free up time for me to help students choose books that challenge and interest them, and help us get more quickly onto activities.  I am in the ongoing process of reorganizing the library so that students can find books they love quickly. 

Checking out a book when I’m not in:

Students or teachers that need to borrow a book from the library while I’m not in the building may do so by signing out the book on the google form sign out sheet (QR Code located in the library), or by leaving me a note with the school barcode number(s) and name of patron.

Book Care

We ask that library books are treated with a special level of care.  This ensures that they will last and be able to be shared with our entire student body.  The following are the guidelines I present to the students to help them take the best care of our books:

  1. Carry books closed and with 2 hands or close to your body
  2. Lay books flat in your lap or on a surface to read
  3. Turn pages gently
  4. Use a bookmark to mark your page 
  5. Keep books away from: 
    1. Weather/outdoors
    2. Pets and babies
    3. Food and drink
    4. Arts and crafts supplies: glue, scissors

I always suggest to students that they find a place in their room/home, that is out of reach of any pets, but is dedicated to their library book(s).  Once they finish their book it helps to put in directly back in their backpack.  Most classroom teachers have a designated return spot to collect books so they can even be returned ahead of Library day. I know for many families this can feel like just another thing to keep track of, but students truly do love the ability to borrow books of their choice and take them home to share.  It is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to  developing their skills and fostering a love of reading. If it seems like an extra hassle for your family, students are almost always welcome to keep books in their desks or cubbies at school to read during free time, etc.  You can discuss what works best for your family with your student and their classroom teacher.

Check-in/book return

Books are checked out for 1 week and are generally expected to be returned at their next regular library class.  You can find book check out limits by grade below. (Renewals ARE allowed, there is no set limit for renewals as long as the book is not on hold and the student can present the book and show that they are in fact still reading it if needed.) 

Books are collected on your class’s library day before CARE TIME/announcements by a peer helper or myself.  Any books that do not make it to be turned in that morning can be sent down to the library or brought with the student to class.

I do allow 1st-5th to check out books within their maximum limit, regardless of whether they returned all of their books.  For example, if a 5th grader has 4 books checked out, but returns 2, I will allow him/her to check out 2 new books. I will not refuse your child a book as long as they have room on their account to get one. Notices may go out when a student has reported a book as lost or it has been longer than 3 weeks since a book has been returned. The maximum check out limit still applies.  If they are allowed to take out 2 books, but one is lost, they can still take out 1 until the other book is returned or replaced.

Notices will continue to go home about the missing book until it has been returned, reimbursed or replaced, but the student may continue to get just one book in the meantime. (This does not apply to PK and K as they are limited to one book). Most usually overdue notices will go home before holiday breaks.

Choosing books/book limits

Kindergarten students will be able to check out only 1 book at a time as they develop the skills and responsibility to check out, return and care for books.

1st and 2nd graders will be encouraged to check out 2 books at a time. One book is suggested to be age and reading-level appropriate; something that they can read themselves with minimal struggle in the classroom or at home (we call this a "just right book".  The other book will be free choice with certain exceptions based on age appropriateness.  

I allow a free choice book to be any book because I do not wish to discourage children from reading in any way shape or form. If it interests them, then it will more likely motivate them to read and thus improve their reading skills. Also, there are many parents that like to read aloud some of the more challenging books to their kids and I believe the school library should be a place where children can get those books regardless of reading level.  I will maintain the policy that they ALSO get one book that is close to their reading ability, as teachers do want their students to take out books that will help them reinforce their skills gained in the classroom.

3rd graders may check out up to 3 books at a time.  I will encourage them to continue to get at least one of their selections near reading level.

4th and 5th grade students are able to have 4 books checked out at any given time. They should also take out a book at their level.  In most cases at this age it is more along the lines of making sure they get one that is challenging enough for them. The thought behind the 4 book policy for 4th and 5th grade is that they can check out a book for a project/report and still be able to get books that they choose to read for pleasure.

If there are certain books or levels of books you would prefer your child not bring home, for example, if you do not want your 1st grader to bring home things like Harry Potter books and other books clearly above their level and would instead prefer that both of their books are at or near their reading level, then please discuss those limits with your child at home.  Contacting myself or their classroom teacher would also be helpful so if you feel that your child is needing extra help figuring out what to get. I would be more than happy to try to remind them what they are supposed to be looking for, but because I see close to 400 different students (and it would be nearly impossible to keep everyone’s wishes straight, ie. “this one’s parents wants him to bring home big chapter books to read as a family, this one’s parents want her to bring home books at her reading level only, this one’s parents do not want them bringing home Goosebumps or creepy books, etc.) all of the time, it will be ultimately up to you to discuss your wishes with your child as well and they will need to be responsible for their own choices.

A great way to deal with a situation where your child is not bringing home the kinds of books you’d prefer them to choose is to visit our library catalog page and do a search ahead of time to pick out books together that you approve of.  Feel free to send a list of desired titles in to school with your student that they can share with me when they come to library.

At the classroom teacher’s discretion, students may also visit the library to check out new books at the beginning or end of the day if they are in need of a new book. I am a strong advocate for getting kids books when they want them because the more supportive and encouraging I can be of their reading, the more likely they are to love it and continue to read regularly.

Renewing books

Students are allowed to renew books that they are still reading or need for a project.  I do not have a specific limit on the number of times they can renew, unless another student is waiting for the book.  If another student is waiting then the maximum renewal time is once, however it can come down to a case by case basis depending on the book and the student’s needs.  Things like LEGO books and Minecraft books are usually in hot demand and therefore can only be renewed once. If a book has been renewed for more than a month, I may ask a student to bring the book with them to class in order to continue to renew, that way I can be sure it is not just lost.


Students in grades 3-5 will be expected to bring their devices to class every library day. Many of our center activities will involve technology in some capacity.  Students are also expected to learn to use the library catalog to search and locate books for check out at this level.

Library Schedule

Your child will have library class once every 4 days.  This means that barring holidays and snow days, your child will see me once a week most weeks, and twice a week, once per month.  Folders go home with the Specials schedule on them, however, because you may not always have it on hand and because once we start to have snow days the schedule will change, I have provided a link to my instagram and facebook page that help keep you up to date on the current Library rotation.

Classroom Management

Students will have assigned seating on the carpet area for read alouds and class meetings at the beginning of library time. When students know where their spot is it makes transitioning quicker. Assigned spots may change during the course of the year if necessary based on successful learning, but I try to keep it to a minimum.  This is so that students do not need to try to remember a new spot constantly and they can know exactly where they need to be every class.

Each class will also be divided into 4 groups. These will be the groups the class will be used for whenever we break up into groups for activities.  

The expectation for students while they are in the library is that they will maintain respect for themselves, each other, and the learning environment.  All students have the right to the very best learning experience.  When a student chooses to disrupt the learning taking place in the library they are disrespecting their fellow classmates that are showing their readiness to learn.  This is not only unfair to others but also to themselves, therefore any disruption of learning including talking when others are talking, interrupting, not following directions, using a volume that is distracting, etc. will receive up to 2 warnings that their behavior is not following expectations. After their 2nd warning if they are still having difficulty following expectations, it may result in consequences such as having to sit out of library activities. If after that, the student is still unable to be a respectful part of the group, it will require classroom teacher notification which could result in a note home or other consequences according to their teacher’s behavior policies. Fooling around, being unsafe or otherwise abusing their book check out time could result in immediate loss of book check out privileges for the day.

Most importantly: The library is a safe space for students, and as such, disrespectful, harmful or unkind words and actions will not be tolerated.

Library Volume

I am of the belief that in order for the library to be a place of exploration and learning that it cannot be a silent environment.  With that said, I do expect certain specific volume levels depending on the activity.  

Read alouds, class meetings, teacher instructions: Level 0: no talking, raising hands for questions or comments

Book check out: Level 1 or 2: whisper or 6-inch voice

Centers and STEM learning: Level 2 or 3: 6-inch voice=Peaceful collaboration/table talk volume

Library Class Structure

Your child’s library class will be very structured with the goals of checking out new books for reading at home and also to maximize their time to focus on traditional library learning goals as well as incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) connections.  

Your child will come to class and most usually begin by meeting on the carpet to hear a read aloud and/or discuss todays instructions for centers and activities. While activities and centers are taking place, students will be called in groups to check out books. I will help students in the first two months of school get used to finding their book(s) of choice quickly and checking out their own book using the library software.  The collection itself will now be more user-friendly; divided into sections of interest that are clearly marked and easier to find.  This will mean as long as a student can identify the type of book they want to read they will be able to locate a book quickly and check it out.

Grades Pre-K-2 will work on activities that increase their understanding of literature and also help them learn to locate and decipher information from several types of resources.  We will also begin incorporating Digital Citizenship lessons that will encourage healthy and safe habits with technology.

Grades 3-5 will participate in even more Digital Citizenship activities as well as monthly centers and other activities that students will rotate through on a weekly basis.

Library Centers promote and encourage independence as students are expected to read directions and complete tasks with minimal guidance (after initial instruction).

Leaving the library

It is expected that students will leave the library the way they found it. When they are ready to leave class all areas should be clean, chairs pushed in and students standing behind their pushed in chairs. 

End of Year

Book check out will end approximately 3 weeks prior to the end of school.  This is to ensure as many books are returned as possible.