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Library Curriculum

Lower (Nursery-K)

Lower School students build their listening, discussion, and book selection skills during their scheduled and voluntary visits to the library with their teachers. They learn how to ask for help, about library etiquette, how to take care of shared resources, safety rules, and which books are real and not real. By the time they are in the 5/6s, students feel confident in their ability to find information about those topics that interest them or support their inquiry and work in their classrooms.

Middle (Grades 1-4)

Building on skills acquired through formal instruction, discussion, and storytelling, students become proficient in the following areas:

  • finding information,
  • selecting books,
  • understanding fiction/non-fiction,
  • using shelf markers,
  • comprehension and appreciation of folktales,
  • assisted use of the computer catalog, a
  • awareness of genres,
  • and how to care for books.

The 6/7s and 7/8s hone their critical skills by evaluating picture books and also their abilities in library use. By the end of the 8/9s, students can independently search the catalog and discuss books critically. They are able to do research using encyclopedias, indexes, and electronic databases.

In the 8/9s and 9/10s, children are in the process of becoming information-literate. With the cooperation of classroom teachers, students embark on research that enables them to become discerning and capable users of information. They learn how to gather data efficiently and effectively, evaluate it critically and then use and present it accurately and creatively.

The 9/10s become self-reliant as library users. In order to support their independent research, they continue to develop their skills in evaluating print and on-line materials for accuracy, currency, and bias.

The Irma S. and James H. Black Book Award

The Middle School actively participates in the selection of the book to be honored by the Irma S. and James H. Black Book Award, which Bank Street presents each year to a picture book. The children in the 8/9s and 9/10s select four finalists after evaluating over twenty current picture books. The 6/7s and the 7/8s, together with their teachers and the librarian, read the four finalists and choose the winning book. The librarian also asks the children to recommend new titles to be considered for inclusion in the annual Best Children’s Books of the Year, a book published by the Children's Book Committee at Bank Street.

Upper (Grades 5-8)

Working collaboratively with the Upper School’s classroom curriculum, Bank Street Library staff works with teachers to helps students develop critical evaluation skills so that they can be independent learners, critical selectors of print and media materials, and lifelong readers.

Objective: For students to become discriminating consumers of information by learning how to access, locate, use, analyze, synthesize, and produce information in many formats.

The library's instructional program:

  • Combines information skills with literature evaluation and book selection.
  • Provides reference material for classroom use to support current curriculum needs.
  • Recommends readers references to individual children.
  • Nurtures independent study skills in accessing, locating, evaluating, and synthesizing information.
  • Refines critical thinking and public speaking skills by reading books eligible for a mock Newbery award.