Lincoln schools will update aging library collections

November 18, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - As the sound of Santa's sleigh bells fade into the snowy skies of the new year, the arrival of heavy brown boxes will be anticipated at Lincoln County schools. Inside the plain brown cardboard will be white whales, world wars and the words of great men, all encompassed between the covers of $77,406 worth of new books.

Lincoln County school library media specialists will celebrate the new year by ordering thousands of dollars of new library books, bought with a federal Improving Literacy through School Library grant awarded in October.

Last week, school board members approved a blanket purchase order for the new books, to be chosen by librarians at each school. This week, the lengthy task of creating a wish list of literature began.

Lincoln County Middle School library media specialist Terry Brackett expects to have her list of books for purchase compiled by the new year, including new books about the old-time adventures of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.


With the $12,000 allotted to the middle school collection, Brackett said she would go with student, teacher and parent recommendations, as well as those suggestions made by the book company.

"I did a collection development. I sent that to the book company, and they sent back a chart showing me what areas were lacking. That showed we were a little lacking in the science and history area," said Brackett.

At the high school, library media specialist and grant co-applicant Kay Hensley said the high school would focus on non-fiction purchases.

"Our collection in the non-fiction area was very dated," said Hensley.

She and Assistant Superintendent Karen Hatter wrote the grant application, which focused on Lincoln County's need to improve students' access to current information. Being chosen to receive one of a limited number of grants, out of a stack of many applications, was like an early Christmas present for the school, said Hensley.

"It always is when we get new books in the library," she said.

The literary Christmas will extend into the elementaries as well, where non-fiction also will be the focus of updating school stacks, said Laura Roller, McKinney and Waynesburg elementaries' library media specialist.

"I'm going to update the reference section and look at titles in the rest of the library to see what I'm low in," said Roller.

It is the non-fiction collection, which constantly needs updating, that will take up a large chunk of the grant, said specialists at the schools.

"I just pulled a book that's copyright date was 1985," said Roller. "When you're a small school and you have a small budget, you can't hit all areas at one time."

"The average age of some of our non-fiction was in the 1950's. The religion section was 1962. The natural science and math was 1989," said Hensley. "I mean, you might as well not have a section if your information is that old. This will help the students get current information. We're very excited about it."

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