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 line up outside the library (on the ramp at Lyman) silently as they wait for the instruction to enter.  I will meet them at the door/ramp and allow them time to ready themselves for entering (silent, facing straight ahead, hands by sides).  Once the class is ready I will signal them to enter.  They will follow the specific procedure for coming in to the library and either being seated in their spot on the carpet for a meeting or proceeding to book choice and check out.

Check out

Returning students will have had practice at the end of last year on how to use our Destiny system to scan out their own books.  Students will now 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 to get us more quickly onto activities.  I am in the ongoing process of reorganizing the library so that students can find books 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 sign out sheet provided.  Student first and last name, book title, and the library barcode number is required.

Check-in/book return

Books are checked out for 1 week and are 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 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 3 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 go out when a student has reported a book as lost or it has been longer than 4 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).

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, 2nd and 3rd grade will all be allowed 2 books at a time.  One book should be age and reading-level appropriate; something that they can read themselves with minimal struggle.  The other book will be free choice.  

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 their reading ability as teachers do want students to get books that will help them practice their skills.

4th and 5th grade students are able to have 3 books checked out at any given time. They should also get 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 3 book policy for 4th and 5th grade is that with 3 books is that they can check out a book for a project/report and still be able to get books that they choose to read.

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 that we can try to help guide them as much as possible. 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 (“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 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.  

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.  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 2-5 will be expected to bring their iPads to class every library day. Many of our center activities will involve technology in some capacity and we heavily use QR codes.  Students are also expected to use the library catalog to search and locate books for check out.

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 website and facebook page that help keep you up to date on the current Library rotation.

On the weeks that your child has library twice in one week, we will have regular library class and book check out on Monday. On Friday we will have no new book checkout, but instead I will read aloud a book and then we will be visiting the Makerspace to complete literature/STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) integration activities.  This will be a way for children to connect stories and literature to everyday life and to other subjects, specifically math and science.  We will be working on our growth mindset and it will be very hands on learning.  I look forward to making these connections with students and I feel it will only get them more and more excited about reading.

Classroom Management

Students will have assigned seating on the carpet 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 will not change at all during the course of the year unless necessary based on behavior.  This is so that students do not need to try to remember a new spot and they 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 rotate with through the monthly centers and library jobs.  Each class will have a poster that will show which center they will be at for the day.

We will use a clip system for attendance, library jobs, hall passes and for behavior management.  Clips labeled “bathroom G”, Bathroom B” and Absent will be used to keep track of students who leave the classroom or are absent so that I know who is in the classroom at all times. Clips will also be used to show library jobs. Sample library jobs:

Attendance checker, checkout helper, classroom clean up monitor.

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 our classroom S.O.P., after their 2nd warning if they are still having difficulty following S.O.P, it will require them 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 lost recess time, 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 connections.  I have worked with a district technology integrator to begin to develop a yearly curriculum that will utilize Library Centers for grades 3-5 and eventually k-2.  

Your child will come to class each time and 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 of around 5 or 6 at a time 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 easy 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 that students will rotate through on a weekly basis.  Our 4 library centers are:

1) Reading/listening center: this center will have comfortable seating and an inviting atmosphere for students and will require them to read/listen to their choice of a selection of age-appropriate books that will deal with seasonal themes and relevant topics.

2) Library Skills and Seasonal activity Center: this center will focus on the traditional library curriculum areas; teaching students about fiction vs. nonfiction, fiction genres, elements/tools of fiction, nonfiction text features, research, finding reliable sources, using online databases, etc. I will be stationed at this center most of the time. I will make these activities seasonally appropriate as often as I can.  I love to use holidays, seasons and even community events as topics for these activities as it helps make it more relevant to students.

3) STEM Center: This Center will be an engaging way for students to make deeper connections between literature and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math).  This may include growth mindset activities, hands on projects, apps and tech activities, maker challenges and more.

4) Digital Citizenship Center: This Center will be for completing activities that go along with the month's Digital Citizenship lesson to further learning and help students practice what they learned.

Each group will visit each center once during the month.  The center activities and themes will generally change monthly based on seasonal themes and skill/concept focus.  

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.

The library will close for classes 1 week prior to the last day of school.