Visiting the library or inviting a librarian out to your classroom is a fantastic way to connect your students with all the exciting and useful resources freely available at the public library. We are able to work with groups of all ages, from preschool to Grade 12.
To arrange a visit, please contact the Youth Department. A few helpful guidelines to keep in mind:
- the Youth Department team is small (but mighty!) and usually requires at least three weeks notice of a visit
- if possible, please provide us with a range of dates for your visit so we can find a mutually agreeable time
- we try to tailor or visits as much as possible so they are useful for your students. Please give us as much information as you can on your current unit/theme of study, research project, etc.
- we are generally unavailable to arrange visits during the last two weeks of October (unless you are a preschool - we focus on preschool outreach during this time) or June (we visit all schools to promote the Summer Reading Club)
Preschools (30 minutes)
Bring your preschool class to the library, or invite a librarian to visit you! A preschool visit usually consists of:
- talking about a library card and the concept of borrowing
- an early years storytime
- a short tour (in-library groups only with children aged 4+)
We may also be able to accommodate your group at one of our weekly storytimes. Please call ahead to let us know you are coming as we will be able to tell you if some of our weekly programs are already at capacity.
Primary Grades (30-60 minutes)
Students in Kindergarten-Grade 3 can start learning how librarians and the library can assist them in research and finding books, movies and music for pleasure. A visit for primary students can include:
- introduction to the library's online resources and databases for younger children
- simple research basics (ex: using indexes or learning how the catalogue works)
- a tour of the Youth Department and "behind-the-scenes" areas
- book talks on the newest and best material for children
- oral storytelling and/or age-appropriate read-alouds
Middle Grades-Secondary School (45-90 minutes)
Librarians can act as research coaches for students working on assignments and areas of inquiry. They can also connect kids and teens with resources on volunteering in the community, finding practice tests and, of course, finding their next favourite book. A visit for students in Grades 4-12 usually includes:
- a tour of the Youth Department (and, for secondary school students, a tour of the relevant resources in the Information Services department)
- orientation to online resources and databases (including advanced search tips and tricks)
- research skills (can include everything from topic formation to citing sources)
- book talks on the newest and best material for kids and teens
We find that customizing a visit to a class' particular research topic is most useful for older students.
PACs and Parents Groups
All Youth librarians hold a Master's degree and are highly-educated on all kinds of literacy including twenty-first century and digital literacies. We are able to speak to groups of parents on topics such as:
- Early literacy skills and preparing children to learn to read
- Motivating kids to read
- Families and technology (ex: selecting and using apps with young children)
- Supporting your child's research
- The best new books and apps for specific age groups