At Benjamin Rush Elementary, we strive to balance the needs of classroom curriculum, student information interests and recreational reading as we purchase books for our library. Reading for pleasure includes not only classic titles but also the latest children’s popular fiction and engaging non-fiction books and magazines. These must be updated on a yearly basis to keep pace with changing interests among our readers. Our varied classroom curriculum must be supported and supplemented with up to date information texts especially when new programs and testing options are introduced. These are selected based on discussions with individual teachers as well as grade level teams and professional resources. And many students require quality information texts to pursue personal interests beyond classroom studies.
Our collection is currently at a healthy size – approximately 15,000 units. We expect that this size will stay relatively constant for the foreseeable future. However, as we acquire new books, we do remove (“weed” as librarians say) a substantial number of old copies each year to make room. This ensures that worn or outdated copies are not taking up valuable shelf space.
Because building budgets continue to be tight and must be distributed across a wide range of needs, the Library receives only part of its funding through this means. We are very lucky at Rush to have an active and supportive community! PTA grants, family donations and your support of our annual book fair, along with occasional outside grants, allow us to fill critical and ongoing collection needs each year. Your support is greatly appreciated and shows in the active use of the Library by our students!
Accomplishments – 2006-2010:
2008-2009 and 2009-2010 - Major purchase of non-fiction and fiction text to support our new Social Studies curriculum adoption, primarily in the areas of American History, Geography, Social and Community Awareness. This was primarily funded through a one-time state legislative grant to all school libraries.
2007-2008 – Major new additions to our books on Wildlife around the world as well as Physical, Earth and Space science. This was funded primarily from our Book Fair profits.
2006-2007 – Major purchase of new books on countries around the world with a grant from our PTA.
Ongoing – new age appropriate purchases have been made annually in the areas of Ecology, Social Skills and Awareness, Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Health and Engineering.
Goals for 2010-2011:
Replace aging US State books: As of spring 2010, the majority of our state books had an average published date of 1985. In addition the reading level of these books were mainly high 4th grade and above. Currently the 3rd grade students are the primary users of these books and require up to date information in a reading level more appropriate to the majority of these students. We have removed the outdated books from our shelves and, thanks to a substantial grant from our PTA, have purchased two complete sets of new state books (Heinemann Raintree State Studies series and Gareth Stevens Portraits of the States series). These will make up to date information easily accessible to our students.
Review Technology, Crafts, Arts and Sports Books for Updating: This is part of our ongoing process of renewing our library collection. Current average age of these sections is 21 years.
Review and renew Reference Section: The resources in our reference section are aging and do not suit our current student needs. Many of the titles in this section will be retained because of historical interest – but many need to be removed a no longer of use to our population. Since many of our traditional reference resources are now available 24x7 on line, we expect that our hard copy Reference section will shrink in size and house primarily books which are too large in size or too fragile in format for normal circulation but are useful for library reading and research.
Click here for the district library collection policy which guides our colleciton development..