New library adventures!

Books for secondary – old books stacked in boxes on floor

In order to get some work experience I’ve agreed to volunteer a day a week at a bilingual international school here in Singapore.  The school has around 500 pupils, 250 each in primary and secondary and teaches in English and Chinese.

The library situation is a little dire, which is why I was asked to help out.  I was quite intimidated at first as I have a little bit of theoretical knowledge based on the courses I’ve done (and passed so far), and a little bit of practical knowledge based on volunteering at the library at my kids school – and managing my own over stuffed bookshelves at home, and a little bit of experiencing knowledge based on visiting libraries all my life and the intensive library tour from my course which is documented earlier.

Junior school section. Non-fiction in shelves on stairs

I made it quite clear that I was no guru – but luckily I’m being very capably mentored by Ms. Katie, the uber-wonderful librarian at my kid’s school.  And I’m also very lucky to have Ms. Sheryl, who is the new school de-facto librarian at the school, despite the fact that she has had not training or experience in the librarian field – but makes up for that with enthusiasm and a “can do” attitude.

Due to the paucity of the library’s collection, it was decided to consolidate the books from junior and senior school in an old squash court and to work from there.  The first visit revealed that the junior books had been placed on the stairs, and the secondary on the court.  The collection consisted mainly of Chinese books and textbooks.  There was no discernable order to the collection, the catalogue was “lost” and there were classes of eager young students coming in looking for books, and teachers needing resources for their units of enquiry.

textbooks and teacher resources

“wall” of books, no labeling, lots of text books
“stuff” to be sorted on floor
Nice study area, newly renovated

study area with tables and chairs

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