The School Library’s First Contact With Parents

By Doug Johnson
Reposted from the Blue Skunk Blog

This question was recently posted to LM_Net:

Do any of you send a letter home with students at the beginning of the year that explains library rules, routines, info, etc..? If so, could you please share so I could generate some ideas. Thanks in advance.

Ah, the first thing our parents hear from us are our RULES! Why not hit them with our SERVICES in that first communication instead? Rather than…

Dear Parents,

Please be aware of the library’s rules:

  • Your child is allowed to check out two books each week.
  • Books must be checked out and returned on the specified library days.
  • If a book is not returned, no additional books can be checked out.
  • Fines will accrue for late books.
  • Lost books must be paid for by parents before report cards are issued.

Your librarian

send

Dear Parents,

The library program has some exciting opportunities in store for your child this year:

  • Our curriculum will be promoting the very best of children’s literature to your child with activities designed to help student’s enjoy the stories even more.
  • We’ll be doing our very best to get (or keep) your children “hooked on reading” by recommending specific reading materials to each individual.
  • At each grade level, students will be learning research and computer skills specifically suited to their developmental needs.
  • The new iPads in the library will be available for reading e-books this year!
  • We have a lot of special events being planned, including author visits, a book fair, and reading contests.
  • If you would like to volunteer to help in the library, please let me know. We’d love to have you.

Your librarian

Parents can and should be our greatest advocates, but this will only happen if we communicate the positive. Sure, it’s OK to communicate library “rules.” But what priority should this communication be given? Think about it.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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