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Celebrating School Library Month

April is School Library Month, which celebrates the importance of libraries in our schools, as well as our amazing librarians that help empower students with the importance of reading and information. This is Sheena Keiser, one of our amazing librarians at Fairwood Elementary. In this picture, she is teaching students about sourcing information and how to tell if information is accurate or not. Librarians in KSD not only introduce and provide students with avenues to discover amazing worlds and stories through reading, but they also are teachers who provide our students with curriculum that aids in their ability to process information, look for resources to support their learning, and gain knowledge on topics they want to learn more about. 

Read about the work that Sheena is doing down below! Remember to celebrate and thank your school librarians for their important work.  

“Being an elementary librarian in Kent is exciting. I get to work with students from their first days in school as kindergartners all the way till their entry into middle school. That means I am one of the few educators in a child’s life that has the privilege of actively teaching them for up to seven years. In our library, we focus on literacy and EdTech standards as well as being a consumer that can find great books. I also get to support their classroom teachers in these same areas and promote literacy in our school community with school-wide reading challenges. Special school-wide focuses like Dot Day, Kindness Week, Poem in your Pocket Day, and Hour of Code. For the last few years, I have been able to work with our music teacher and counselor to have a student leadership team that helps facilitate these events too! 

In the lesson pictured, I used a website about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, a total hoax but believable to the untrained eye, to discuss skills essential to media literacy, making sure your information is reliable. Plus, because we always need an amazing book, we read Fact vs. Opinion vs. Robot, a fun interactive story that allows the readers to use the pictures and information in the book to learn about fact vs. opinion and when to wait or seek out more information. During this lesson with fourth graders, we talked about how any information can be presented as fact, but you need to have a critical eye and be thoughtful about where you get your information. 

Unfortunately, I had to be a little tricky in this lesson and get students thinking they were learning about a super cool octopus. I then had to share it was a hoax and talk about why they believed it. Of course, they learned about looking at what the URL extension is and questions where photos, articles, and research is coming from, but part of what was learned is that we also need to know we are influenced by the people that we put trust in. As a librarian, I am someone students trust and expect to be reliable, and that is a huge honor librarians have in our communities. It is also a responsibility as I work each day to be thoughtful in the lessons I design for students at each grade level. My goal is to empower Fairwood students to be curious and knowledgeable consumers of information and fall in love with reading.” – Sheena Keiser, Librarian, Fairwood Elementary