I love having student helpers. In fact my motto is,
Don’t Do Anything a Student Can Do For You!
I started using helpers as an elementary librarian. I had 840 students, 34 classes and 45 teachers to support. As an elementary librarian, I used student helpers to:
- Create & maintain bulletin boards
- Straighten book fair displays
- Herd kindergarteners
- Help shelve series books
- Help students get on and off computers and iPads
I’m now a middle school librarian & I use my student helpers to:
- Shelve books – my library is genred, so each student has one or two genres they are responsible for
- Check in & out books
- Pull books for teachers
- Set up & take down the book fair
- Stamp & barcode new books
- Update computers
- Take holds to students
- Help students & teachers find books
How to get started:
- What students do you already have a connection with?
- What students could benefit from a leadership role?
- What students are already your library ambassadors?
- Consider using an application or getting recommendations from teachers.
I’ve got helpers, now what? Have a training:
- Go over rules & expectations
- Discuss your cell phone policy (be consistent with the school policy)
- Practice shelving books
- Tour the library, technology, materials, and supplies
- Review how to look up books & put them on hold
- Discuss how the phone should be answered
- Review behavior expectations
When do your helpers come? Students who want to be a helper give up their related arts class. They may stay a semester or all year.
How many helpers do you have? I have one helper each class period, but no more than two at a time, otherwise there isn’t enough to keep them busy.
What if there isn’t anything to do? My students bring homework or a book everyday “just in case.”
I’d love to hear how you use student helpers!