School’s curbside book service supports students’ love of reading
December 7, 2020
What’s a school library to do when campuses are closed to in-person instruction because of the pandemic? Offer curbside book service, of course. Heritage Elementary School library media technician Rhoda Murillo encouraged students to use an app called Follett Destiny to digitally browse the school’s print library and put a hold on the ones they liked.
Once a week, Murillo checks the holds list, pulls those books off the shelves, and prepares them in a bag with the student’s name. Parents drive up on Wednesdays from 12:15 - 2:15 p.m. and Murillo puts them in the trunk of the parents’ vehicle. They may also bring their library book returns at that time.
“The first week I had only 10 holds, the second week I had 15, and this week 20,” Murillo said. “I hope it keeps growing!”
Several other Chula Vista Elementary School District schools have also launched library book curbside service. This is a service in addition to the e-books typically offered online in the Follett Destiny system. With so many electronic reading devices and so many online learning accelerators in use during the pandemic, it’s easy to forget that print materials are still treasured.
Sporting a Cat in the Hat red-and-white top hat and Dr. Seuss-themed T-shirt, Murillo enthusiastically loaded books into vehicle trunks as parents pulled up to the curb. Students and their families appreciate breaking from the routine of isolation, she said.
“Our school is making it easy for students to check out books to take home and enjoy, helping students ‘unplug’ even as they continue distance learning,” Murillo said. “Kids need that human touch. They drive up, they come to pick up their books, they wave ‘hello.’ You get a chance for human interaction even if for a moment. Right now, this is an opportunity for a warm smile.”
And a good read.
“The idea is to cultivate and nurture students’ love of reading, provide equitable access and personalized learning opportunities that grow student(s) literacy skills,” said Heritage Elementary Principal Ruth Diaz De Leon.
Library Media Technician Rhoda Murillo waves to cars as they pull up for curbside book service, which allows students to browse the library’s collection digitally and put a hold on books.
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