Student Workers Work For You

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *