The Elementary Library is a hub of student activity. In addition to a Makerspace, 3-D printer and newly acquired fleet of 10 Samsung Galaxy Tab E Nook 9.6 tablets, the library houses a collection of more than 20,000 volumes geared toward the interests and reading abilities of students in grades K-6. The fiction, non-fiction, biography, picture book and chapter book collections are always in heavy circulation. A full-time school librarian staffs the facility and oversees a robust collection development program to keep the titles coming for eager elementary readers.
Each week, students in grades 1-6 visit the library with their reading classes to check out books, enjoy story time, learn library skills and take Accelerated Reader quizzes. Parent volunteers, known as “Bookends” read to the children and assist the librarian. Kindergartners also visit the library each week for parents to read three of their favorite books to the class.
During library time, students take computerized Accelerated Reader quizzes on the Samsung Galaxy tablets. Accelerated Reader is a computer program designed to test a student’s reading comprehension based on specific books that are assigned reading levels. More than 200,000 Accelerated Reader quizzes are available. Together with their reading teachers, students set Accelerated Reader goals for themselves. Success is rewarded with Accelerated Reader parties at the end of each semester. At home, students and parents can use AR BookFinder on the Internet to determine whether an Accelerated Reader quiz is available for a particular book. You can also find the reading level, recommended grade level and point value for a book. Students can also search for books similar to those they have recently read with www.bookseer.com.
The Elementary Library is a popular place at Runnels. Students gather in the library, which is open before school and during recess, to look for books, work at the Makerspace, or get reading suggestions from the librarian (one of her favorite pastimes). The library offers a comfortable, child-centered environment that encourages and promotes reading and learning.
Two areas in the library honor special people in the life of our school. In 2007, the library underwent an expansion during which a reference room was dedicated to the memory of Virginia H. Runnels, a devoted educator and the mother of Founding Headmaster Dr. L.K. Runnels. This section is home to fiction and reference materials. In 2002, the school dedicated a portion of the library in memory of former teacher and school librarian, Gladys Marsh. A special collection about animals is on the shelves of our library, donated by Mrs. Marsh’s students, in honor of her retirement in 1994. A plaque, which hangs on the "archway" in the library, identifies the space where the collection resides as the "Gladys Marsh Reading Room." Mrs. Marsh, who passed away in August 2002, will always live on in our warm memories of her.
The library also offers an expansive collection of books about the holidays and religions of many cultures, books reinforcing Runnels School’s commitment to inclusiveness, acceptance, diversity and awareness.