Database of the Month: Educator and Teacher Services

This month, we’re taking a break from all the online resources that Stark Library offers to focus on the services and resources specifically for educators. Education looks different now than it did just two (somehow extremely long) years ago! Stark Library still offers some great perks for all educators, which you can read more about at any time on our Educators page. This post is for you whether you’re in a traditional classroom, homeschooling/online schooling, or teach students in a daycare, summer camp, or afterschool environment!

Not a teacher? Say thank you to an educator this month and maybe give them a gift card to a local coffee or tea shop. They could use the pick-me-up. =)

Educator Cards: Even cooler than a normal library card

The coolest thing about being an educator is you get to have TWO LIBRARY CARDS – your personal card and a super fancy Educator Card! But really—your educator card comes with some serious perks. First off, you can check out most types of items for six weeks. Then, because we know that you’re dealing with students, we allow up to 10 lost or damaged items per year so that you don’t have to deal with extra fees just because somebody’s dog ate The Great Gatsby. And, of course, we are a fine-free library system, so neither your personal card nor your educator card has overdue fines!

We do require that you do not check out personal items on your educator card, and some types of items cannot be checked out with your educator card: Backpack kits, devices (like a WiFi hotspot or air monitor), express books, and express DVDs. Additionally, we only allow adult items to be checked out if they pertain to the curriculum. We also ask that you renew your educator card every year so we can retain accurate records of where and what you’re teaching. All you have to do is to bring in some form of paperwork that tells us that you’re an educator. Here are some examples of acceptable paperwork:

• Employee/School ID badge
• Home school certification letter
• Paystub from school
• Proof of licensure from daycare

Lit Kits and Classroom Units: Boxes and boxes of books

We have two types of book boxes we put together for our educators. First, we have our Lit Kits (short for Literature Kits, but who wants to say all that). They’re classroom sets of (usually) 20-30 copies of the same title. It’s important that we know how many copies you need to ensure that the box has enough books for all your students. And we’re always adding to our stock of kits, so make sure you have the most recent listing by checking the Educators page, then call your local library branch to set up your request. Here are a few of our Lit Kits:

• Modern classics like All American Boys by Jason Reynolds – He’s coming to the Canton Palace on Feb 24th! Register to attend now!
• Classic classics like Fahrenheit 451, Hatchet, and The Hobbit
• Books that have become movies like Wrinkle in Time and The Hate U Give

The Blue Box

Next up, you know ’em, you love ‘em—those corrugated blue plastic boxes just spell joy! Filled with curated collections of books on

 the topic of your choice at a reading level you know will fit your classroom. These are our Classroom Units (that’s their official name,

 but if you just say blue boxes, we know what you’re talking about). They’re put together based on what you tell us about your classroom, so you know that there’s a book in the box that will fit every student in your room. Best of all, you can just keep getting them! Want to have a box for each season of the year? Easy. Need a new one every month to fit what the students are learning? Just give your librarian a list of topics and say go! My personal favorite is when you just want them to have some titles for pleasure reading in the classroom... That way I can show off some of my favorite books! Use the form on the Educators page to get started! Some examples of Classroom Units:

• 20 nonfiction books about penguins with a Lexile range of 200-800
• 15 chapter books about forming healthy friendships
• 40 picture books with multiple examples of figurative language

School Visits and Field Trips: We miss your faces

And finally, if you just can’t get enough library, we can come to you or you come to us! If you would like to bring students over to visit us at the library, please contact your local branch before bringing students over to find out if/when they can accommodate your class. In terms of us coming to you, please fill out this form so your request gets to the correct person with the correct information. We can do traditional visits (either in-person or virtually) where we have a storytime, talk about books we think your students would like, show off the library’s offerings, or teach basic research skills... but school visits can be more than just books. There are lots of hands-on activities we offer to your students, too. Instead of trying to create a complete list of what all the librarians around the system can do, we’re going to highlight some of the coolest things we’ve done lately to show off our staff’s awesome ideas.

• Tech Try-It-Out: These are visits where we bring along a neat piece of technology that helps
students learn! Some of our favorites are: Ozobot robots, 3D Pens, and Quiver Coloring Pages
• Critical thinking and STEM activities like making newspaper structures, creating and solving rebus puzzles, and designing paper airplanes
• Art Projects like exploring pointillism, making paper snowflakes, and scratch art
• Virtual Escape Rooms
• Teach students about how books are alphabetized by encouraging them to find where a book would be on the shelf.

Need Something Else? Ask your librarian!

Now that you know about some of the best parts of Educator Services from Stark Library, ask yourself... what else could we do together? We’re ultimately in the same business, and if you have something you need, your librarian might know someone with just the resources you need. So if you have a great idea for your next innovative class project, ask your librarian! You’d be surprised what we can help you do.