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The jewel in the crown - the role of the library

The Elsternwick Campus library includes a variety of areas for the many different ways students use the library space

The library plays a vital role at each of our campuses. It provides a place where students can feel safe, as well as a place for learning and creativity.

Libraries pride themselves on catering to the needs of their community and this is what drives the campus library at Elsternwick.

As a community-centred space, the library is often a focal point for both parents and their children, and their children's friends and classmates.

One parent had even remarked to our staff that ‘the jewel in the crown at Elsternwick is the library. It stood out on our first school tours, and it continues to be our family’s gathering point every single day throughout the school year.’

Our library at Elsternwick offers planned sessions that range from a classroom unit of inquiry focus to providing a wide range of genres to explore, focuses on different authors or teaching research skills.

Students from ECLC to Year 6 engage in these sessions with an aim of expanding their information literacy and challenging themselves to read more broadly. The library sees value in student agency and endeavours to stock on books based on student, staff, and parental recommendations. While library staff provide a certain expertise with the collection, there is nothing more powerful than its community members contributing to help build a strong collection of diverse stories together.

This also extends to games that are played at recess and lunchtimes. Each year, the library updates its game selection, with input from the students. So far, the most popular game amongst the students includes ‘Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza’. This game play is a powerful way for students to learn to listen, follow instructions, be inclusive and resilient.

Many students have made valuable friendships participating in these activities. The library is a dynamic space, not only in the colourful displays that Ms Vo creates to engage students and connect to the curriculum, but a space in which both Junior and Middle School students feel welcome.

Something as simple as the recent addition of a bookshelf of graphic novels, surrounded by comfortable bean bags, has made the Middle School seminar space a more relaxed reading area. The library has been able to expand its graphic novel collection, which are popular, and the students enjoy the enclosed comfort of the area.

The library is not just the physical space you see on campus. The online resources available through the library make the role of the library, both physically and virtually, an asset that extends its support, both inside and outside of the school grounds.

When a student, staff member or parent walks through the doors, it is important that they feel welcomed, valued, and connected, not only to the space, but the services and resources that it provides.

Cameron McIntosh is the Library Coordinator at the Elsternwick Campus.

Cameron McIntosh holds a library session with Junior School students