First Books for Kindergarten

OCTOBER 07, 2022

After weeks of anticipation, the day had finally arrived: the Kindergarten class was ready to check out their first picture books from the Lower School library. Before selecting their book of choice though, they had to complete the important task of decorating a shelf marker. As our Kindergarten students are still beginning readers, they are not expected to be able to remove a book from the shelf to consider and then place it back on the shelf in the correct alphabetical spot. Enter: the shelf marker.

Students are taught to scan the shelves and when they see a book they’d like to remove, they insert the ruler-like shelf marker into the shelf between two books, thereby marking where they should return the book if they don’t want to check it out at that moment.

With their shelf markers ready to go, the students were released into the stacks labeled “Everybody Books” and excitedly reviewed the literary options before them. Once they had made their selection, they met Lower School Librarian Megan Westman at her computer and she helped them to officially check out their book. To begin, Kindergarten students will be able to enjoy their book with friends and family for up to one month.

Ms. Westman shared, “During the Kindergarten year, we work to build a sense of care and ownership for our shared resources in the library. On our first day of book checkout, Kindergarten students decorate a shelf marker (a tool that will then be used communally by all Lower Schoolers throughout the year) and show such care in navigating our shelves for the first time. There is quiet awe (rare in our fourth floor library) and so much delight (frequent in our fourth floor library). By the end of their Lower School experience, any given Nightingale student is likely to have checked out hundreds of books from our library. There is some real magic in seeing the first of all of those hundreds head home.”

Here’s to a year of happy reading for Kindergarten!