The library is a resource for the entire Pennekamp community--students, teachers, staff, administrators, and families. You can visit the library whenever it is open except during class visit times. The library is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every weekday (except school holidays), but on occasional Wednesdays the library will close at 1:30 p.m. so that I can attend districtwide library staff meetings. This year I will also be closing the library from 11:15 to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays for my lunch.
Every class visits the library every week. Follow this link to see the class visit schedule for this year. Before and after school, families may visit the library until it closes, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Students are permitted to check out the same number of books as their grade level; so, for example, a first-grader may take one book and a fifth-grader may take five books. Parents may check out ten books at a time. Kindergarteners are also allowed to check out one book but will not begin checking out until December. The loan period is one week. A book may be renewed three times, for a total of four weeks. Please return books as soon as you are through with them. (There may be a long waitlist for the very book you have checked out!)
I'd like to take a moment to promote this website! Visiting the website is the best way to find out what's going on in the library. The class visit schedule shows when your child is coming to library and therefore what day he or she needs to bring any library books to school. On the Weekly Readalouds page you can see what I am reading to each grade and what library skills we are practicing. If I show any internet content during class visits, I will usually link to it from either my blog post or the Weekly Readalouds page. You can look back through previous year's content to find books that have been featured in the library before. You are obviously aware of the website (since you are reading this post!). If you find it interesting, I'd be grateful for your recommending it to other Pennekamp parents.
Here's another interesting thing about the website: If you are planning to shop on Amazon, your purchases can earn money for the Pennekamp PTA (at no additional cost to you!) if you go to Amazon by linking from this website. Just click through from the graphic on the righthand side of this page, that's all you have to do!
I'd like to leave you with one more thought: I hope this website creates opportunities for you to talk with your children about books. In class and during library time the students have opportunities for literary discussion. They may recount the plot of a story, identify characters (both "internal" and "external" traits), discuss the theme of a story (its message, "moral," or purpose), compare or contrast a story with other stories, or connect a story to their own experiences. Pennekamp students are familiar with this kind of discussion, and you can talk about these same topics and ideas with your children at home. It's really very interesting to hear what children think about a story, why they like it or don't, and what meaning a story has for them. There's no right or wrong answer to many of these questions, but it is helpful to ask what was in the story that created a certain idea about it. If you are not accustomed to talking about books with your child, it may feel a little funny at first--but trust me, it can be fun and worthwhile, for both you and your child. (It's probably the aspect of my job that I enjoy most!)