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First Week Jitters!

Updated: Jul 12, 2019

Dear Dr. Laura,

What exactly happens those first few weeks of school when everything hasn’t quite gotten into a routine yet?


First Week Jitters

Hi, First Weeks Jitters!

Some of my previous blogs will give some ideas of things to think about as you begin to establish your routines. Just like you did in the classroom, you need to practice those routines over and over again until they become second nature with the students (and you!).

Depending on all those “other duties as assigned” responsibilities, you may or may not even open your library the first week or so of school. I know of instances where librarians are the textbook distributors/managers and handle that during the opening days of school. I’ve personally experience where I was the Kindergarten/PreK comforter for new students who were crying and had a hard time adjusting to being in school a full day. So, first work with your principal to determine when they expect the library to open for students and find out what roles you play during the start of school.

Then you will need to decide how you want to welcome everyone to the library during their first visit(s). Since you are new to the students, you will want to introduce yourself and share your library rules/expectations. You should try to follow the campus rules and discipline plan since you are in actuality a large classroom. Some librarians also list a special set of library rules that lay out expectations for book care and circulation. For older students it is the perfect time to share a library orientation. Orientations can take on a variety of formats, from PowerPoint to gingerbread scavenger hunts. Search Google and you’ll find a variety of ideas to fit your personality!

Are you in an elementary library? Consider starting your lessons for younger students with lessons on book care. Popular stories include:

  • A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell ISBN-13: 978-0316222587

  • Library Gingerbread Man by Dotti Enderle ISBN-13: 978-1602130487

  • Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk ISBN-13: 978-0810993464

  • Mr. Wiggles by Paula Craig ISBN-13: 978-1568229751

  • Our Librarian Won't Tell Us Anything by Toni Buzzeo ISBN-13: 978-1932146738

  • Penelope Popper Book Doctor by Toni Buzzeo ISBN-13: 978-1602130548

  • Read It, Don't Eat It by Ian Schoenherr ISBN-13: 978-0061724558

  • The Library Dragon Carmen Agra Deedy ISBN-13: 978-1561450916

  • The Shelf Elf by Jackie Mims Hopkins ISBN-13: 978-1932146165

  • The Shelf Elf Helps Out by Jackie Mims Hopkins ISBN-13: 978-1932146455

  • We’re Going on a Book Hunt by Pat Miller ISBN-13: 978-1602130074

  • We’re Going on a Book Hunt by Pat Miller ISBN-13: 978-1602130074

  • What happened to Marion’s Book by Brook Berg ISBN-13: 978-1932146059

My first year I bought a personal copy of Mr. Wiggles and made a sock puppet for my story time use. You should be able to choose 1 book a week for the first month of school to really help drive your message home with the kiddos. Put on your classroom teacher hat or search Google and you’ll find some activities to do with the books you select.

Remember to have fun! The students are going to be so excited to meet you!

Dr. Laura

Librarian Influencers of the Week: the Learning Librarians Facebook page where friendly librarians share lots of ideas with each other! This group was created by Cari White of Library Learners, LLC to give school librarians encouragement, ideas and inspiration.

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