Children’s natural curiosity is fueled and furthered when they find answers to their questions and wonderings. Learning how to find and share those answers – information fluency – is one big part of what the library program is all about. The other large component is the fostering of enthusiastic readers whose worlds will be immeasurably enriched and expanded by reading, listening and thinking broadly. The skills involved in becoming competent seekers and evaluators of information, and keen readers, vary from age to age but build in a way that acknowledges children’s developmental timetables and readiness. They also build as much as possible on the interests of the child, in an atmosphere of mutual trust and openness in relationship with a caring adult – in the belief that when there is an emotional connection, learning lasts.
The library is almost always available to students, and they are encouraged to come up and use it whenever they like – for recreational reading, respite or information. Encouraging their independent use of the library also animates their sense of autonomy. Students become self-directed and self-confident by having their interest and initiative supported and reinforced.
The library is also a resource that supports classroom curriculum for teachers, and provides professional development materials for educators and parenting/child development resources for families.