How Is the HVES Library Organized?

The HVES library is not divided into individual grade levels or sections by genre.  Instead, we have a Primary (K-2) and an Intermediate (3-5) division based on book reading levels and content.   In an elementary school library, we walk a tightrope between our desire to get books into kids' hands and the expectations of guardianship that go along with being in a school setting.  As students progress through the grade levels, we expand their access into more areas of the library so that, by 3rd grade, students are free to select titles from any section. 

Our Kindergarten students begin the year with book care lessons and story times, eventually checking out books from the E is for Everyone (picture book) section and the Red Dot Spot (non fiction section).  In late Kindergarten/early 1st grade, students are introduced to the Early Chapter (EC) section, which includes titles such as Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House, Franny K. Stein, American Girl, Geronimo Stilton, Judy Moody and Stink, and the Jake Maddox sports fiction series.  Toward the middle of 2nd grade, students are gradually introduced into the larger non-fiction section.  Beginning in 3rd grade, students may continue to check out from the E, Red Dot and EC sections, but are also allowed to check out items from all circulating sections.   

This gradual introduction into the various sections has allowed us to better support students in making effective choices of "just right books" as they learn to navigate the library and the ever-expanding world of information.  We do not recommend limiting students to a specific reading level; however, we recognize that many books, both fiction and non-fiction, may contain topics/vocabulary that is better suited for the more mature elementary readers. 

Depending on need, classroom teachers may check out a large number of titles for use in classroom centers.  While teachers are not limited to a specific number of titles, we ask that any large-quantity checkouts be changed out at least monthly to make titles available to others.   In some cases, teachers arrange for students to come as a group to select items for in-class reading centers or book boxes, or arrange to check out a specialized reading group class set.  Teachers who wish to do this need to arrange in advance with the library staff so that book box/reading group books do not count against the student "for fun" limit of 2 items.