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Why Children Self-Select Books in Library Class

Self-selection is an essential element of the library curriculum.  By allowing children to browse freely, without barriers imposed by the librarian, we can nurture excitement for books and reading in each child and encourage a reading culture at Bank Street.

Bank Street students are exposed to "great" literature throughout each day.  They have read-alouds in their classrooms and with specialists, and during independent reading time for older children.  Additionally, they always get a "good", meaty read-aloud from Allie, the children’s librarian, right before they choose their own books to check out.

Library browsing and checkout time, available to each child once every two weeks (in most cases), is one of the only regularly-scheduled times they have to direct their own reading development.  They will often check out the same type of book each library visit, bringing home yet another Star Wars book, comics/graphic novel, world record book, or other, because these books offer them a relaxing, enjoyable, and non-demanding reading experience.

When kids who love Star Wars know that a trip to the library means they can get a Star Wars book, they get excited about coming to the library.  They see it as a treat.  They learn that reading can be leisurely, luxurious, and pure fun.

If parents wish to instruct their children not to check out certain books, they should understand that such instructions are not tracked or policed by library staff, and their children may still self-select and check out their favorite titles when they visit the library.

Allie is happy to help parents who are looking for help replenishing their home supply of read-alouds and other great books.  Parents can email Allie at abruce@bankstreet.edu or call 212-875-4452 to schedule a visit.  They can also consult recommended booklists at: