This year we started a Library Leadership Council (LLC) for middle school students. Book Club was a huge hit last year, and many of my regulars wanted to do more for the school and for the library.
For our first project, we partnered with community service for our school’s first Post-Halloween Candy Drive. We had all the meetings in the library and used the library as a collection location for all the candy. We also made posters to display around campus and made announcements in chapel. Our goal was to collect 150 lbs., and we easily exceeded our goal! Our students were able to donate candy to Homes for Hope, an organization where students from our school travel to Costa Rica to build homes for those in need. We also donated to area veterans groups for Veterans Day. Additionally, we sent toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss. 🙂
Spurred by their efforts, the LLC wanted to do more! For our next project we made thank you/holiday cards for our community members that work in dining, facilities and security. These people work tremendously hard, but they also work hours and in places where we don’t always get a chance to say thank you in person. We promoted the event by making posters and also made a presentation at a middle school assembly. We then set up a table in the library for a week where students could come and make the cards. Over 100 cards were made, and it was an honor to deliver them to our fellow community members.
These projects not only gave Book Club students more leadership opportunities but they also brought additional students in the library to participate in activities….and hopefully pick up a book or two while they were here. 🙂
In January we are doing something more literary-related and celebrating Harry Potter’s Half Birthday. We celebrate half birthdays here for our summer student birthdays, so this seemed like a natural fit. We are organizing a writing contest (What would happen if Hermione Granger went to ESD??) and having a half birthday party before school complete with trivia, games and treats. Our Harry Potter Half Birthday celebration was a big hit last year, so we are really looking forward to our event this year! (Photo from last year!).
Finally, this all started with Book Club last year, and this year students are the leaders of our book club. They select the books that we read, create questions and then facilitate the discussions. The discussions are lively, fun and engaging, and I enjoy seeing what our student leaders can do when you give them the chance. I especially like these types of programs in the library since they are low risk and low cost with additional benefits (reading! Not eating ALL your sugary Halloween candy! Good manners!).
I am encouraged by the participation in the Library Leadership Council, and I hope this allows students to see the library in different ways and lights. My goal is always to get the community in the door, and then I hope that they will be library supporters for life. 🙂 On that note I am definitely interested if you have library groups at your school. What kind of activities or programs do you offer? We are definitely a grass roots start up and are always looking for innovative ways to connect with our school community. Thank you!!