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Hilltop Elementary Library » FAQ: Ask the Librarian

FAQ: Ask the Librarian

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you read every book in the library?
That would be wonderful but impossible.  We rely on Booklist, a professional book review resource, and other reviewing agencies, as well as students, parents and volunteers, to help review appropriate books for our students.  While no two people always agree on what is appropriate for kids to read, we certainly appreciate your input.  If you find a book you think is questionable, or a great book you'd like us to carry, please let us know.
What happens if a student or parent finds a "bad" library book ?
We assess why the books seems inappropriate.  Is it fine for older kids but not so for younger kids?  Does it deal with sensitive subjects that offend some people?  Does it have language and/or behavior that is unacceptable altogether?
If the problem is a topic more suitable for older kids, we keep the book but steer younger kids away from it to more appropriate materials.  We may advise older children if the content may bother them - for example a book may be sad, or scary, or have mild bad language. 
All people will never agree on all books - some families don't read about witchcraft and fantasy, for example; other families love them.  Some kids can't read sad books; other kids love them.  Books about badly-behaved people can be a teaching point -- or taboo -- in your household.  That's why the best evaluators of children's books are children's parents.  Talk to your kids about what you do and do not want them reading.  We'll do our best to help you meet those guidelines if we know what they are.
What do librarians do all day?
A library seems like a quiet, slow-moving place, but there are many behind-the-scenes jobs that keep it running.  Some of them are: 
Shopping!  There are millions of books - which ones do we buy?  A librarian has to decide how to spend limited money on unlimited books.  We look at recommended books using Professional Book Review publications and decide which titles to order based on teaching curriculum as well as what types of books our students enjoy reading.  We want those books to leave the shelves frequently and not gather dust!
Planning Special Events We want our students to get excited about books, authors, reading, and writing.  Many times, Librarians plan Author Visits to our school, Skype Visits with other classrooms around the world to discuss the books we are reading, and events within our own library to showcase student projects, as well as plan Research sessions with students.
The new books came - now what?  First, they have to be barcoded and added to the library computer system (cataloged) in one of several ways.  Then spine labels, award, genre, holiday or any other special stickers need to be printed and applied to them.  Finally, those stickers - or the entire dust jacket if there is one - need protective covers so they can hold up for many readers over time.
Checkout these great new books!  It doesn't matter how great the book is - if students don't notice it, they won't read it.  Getting those books noticed means trying to display books in new appealing ways.
Chapter Two fell out!  Repairing books sometimes involves taping tears with special tape that won't yellow over time, or replacing labels that are illegible.  Other times we have to completely repair the spine of a book.  We have a special machine to restore an otherwise destroyed book to almost-new condition!  Sadly, some damage - such a milk & juice spills or marker & crayon writing - can ruin a book completely.  Please treat library books with care, and let us know if you see any damage to a book so that we can fix it properly.
The book is here... but wherejQuery183042048861594030673_1468771366746?  Ever looked for a book the computer says is checked in, but you can't find it on the shelf?  It's almost impossible to find one book out of a gazillion when they're not in order.  Most students try very hard to put books back where they belong, but sometimes mistakes happen.  Occasionally we have to go through the shelves looking for misfiled books and put them all back in their proper homes.
I've had that on hold forever!!  Most students are great about returning their books on time, but sometimes kids have to be reminded that they have an overdue book, and while they have it, no one else can enjoy it.  Every so often we have to take inventory of who has what, and try to get overdue books back onto the shelves.
Can you help me....?  Yes!  A very important part of the librarian's job is to make sure all these great resources are useful to as many people as possible.  We try very hard to find the right books and materials that students and teachers need.  Please ask us if we can help you locate materials for an upcoming project or subject, or if there are materials you'd like us to purchase for the library.
Have a question for the library?  Email