Parent Helper Info.

Riverside “Friends of the Library” Volunteer Information

If you would like to help out in the Library during 2013-14 please email me at


The Riverside Elementary Library is a wonderful, busy place with excellent resources for students, staff, and parents to share.  Thank you for your time helping our students in the library!  Your active participation here and elsewhere at school shows your children how much you value education in general and reading in particular.  A powerful message!

Below are guidelines for basic library services.  Please do not feel you have to know everything right away.  Over time you will grow to be comfortable and knowledgeable about library operations and services.


The goal is for children to have a positive experience in the library.  This is where “YES!” happens.  Our students receive intensive instruction in reading and language arts in the classroom.  The library is the place to foster a love of reading to complement those lessons.  This is the arena where those little learners can exercise choice with as little interference as possible.  We are available for guidance in their materials selection, but we should never negate what they have chosen even if we think it is “TOO HARD” or “too easy.” 

    We subscribe to “The Three Bears” philosophy when it comes to pleasure reading: sometimes the student feels like reading a book that is “TOO HARD” because he or she is fascinated by the subject, and it feels good to have a “big kid” book about what he or she is interested in.  Sometimes the student feels like reading a book that is “too easy” because a little relaxation is needed after stretching the brain muscle all day.  And sometimes the student needs a book that is “just right” for reading practice or for research.

I want to stress that the book selection a student makes is valid for him or her, and should be supported.  I believe it is OK for a first grader to go home with a book about the future of technology in which he or she cannot yet read all of the words … the book is meaningful to the child and that is what is important.

As a general rule we emphasize with students that they should try to choose one library book that is “just right” for them.  For Kindergarten and 1st graders we have books with red dots that are beginning reader books to help guide them in that choice.


Our library operates on a flexible schedule, which encourages students to visit as often as possible.  Students visit the library with their class once a week, as small groups or individually to check out books. Books will be returned to the library in book baskets (for an entire class) or individually as students enter the library.  Sometimes the presentation area (pit) will have teaching taking place there. Books may be shelved at this time, but not in the presentation area, please, while the activity is in progress.  Check out books once the children have made their selections.  Straighten shelves, “read” shelves, and dust as time permits.  Other tasks will be offered on an “as needed” basis.


It is imperative to shelve items correctly.  If a book is in the wrong spot, it may as well be lost.  Ask for help if you are not sure.  Click here for an online tour of our library.

An explanation of shelving procedures can be found in our Volunteer Handbook.  Volunteers will be trained by library staff on shelving procedures before they begin shelving materials.

For a review of what the Dewey Decimal System is and quizzes to test your knowledge go to


Watch the screen during the transaction for accuracy, messages, and overdue books.

Check in or renew all items before checking out new materials.  Please place them on the book cart after they are checked in.  To maintain accuracy in our records we check books in twice.

Kindergarten students check out one book at a time, 1st and 2nd graders two books at a time and 3rd, 4th and 5th graders three books at a time.

Student materials are given a one-week due date.

Students are allowed one bookmark per visit, not one per book, or, invariably, the bookmarks end up as litter at school.

Teachers may check out an unlimited number of items.  They books are due one month from the date they were checked out.  If they have overdue items, please gently remind them what they have checked out.

DVDs and videocassettes are for staff use only.  Audio books may be checked out to staff and to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.


When shelving books, please scan the shelf for misfiled books and put the shelf in order.

Shelves are straightened frequently to maintain a neat library so our students will be encouraged to keep it that way.  When performing this task it is not necessary to scan the shelves for out of place books.

Dusting is not any more fun here than it is at home, but is a necessary task.  Supplies are next to my desk.

Our collection gets heavy use.  To make sure a book can be found when it is needed it is helpful to “read the shelves” when there is extra time.  Applying general shelving rules, the spine label of each book is read book by book to make sure every book is where it should be.  Follow the posted schedule to make sure the entire library is checked regularly:

Monday: Everybody and Emergent Reader

Tuesday: Fiction

Wednesday: Paperbacks and Series

Thursday: Non-fiction 001 through 599.99

Friday: Non-fiction 600 through to the biography section

Interested in helping in the library with other projects (making bulletin boards, bookmarks, taking digital pictures, decorating, etc.)?  Please let us know!

Thank you so much for supporting our library, and for fostering a life-long love of reading in our students!


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