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Library Skills

Effective use of the school library

Library Skills by Susan Levy
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The purpose of this blackline master activity book is to assist the teacher to teach or revise library skills with students working in the upper primary areas. While it is not comprehensive, the book focuses on areas where children may be lacking in skills. The activities attempt to remedy this lack of knowledge with easy to complete tasks.

Every effort has been made to avoid references to specific library systems and catalogues. For this reason, no activities have been provided on the layout of computer catalogue menus or screens.

It is envisaged that the teacher will introduce a skill to the class, and then use the associated work sheet to reinforce the skill. Care will have to be taken that sufficient resources are available for the students to use. Where only one or two copies of a reference book are held, students may have to work in groups or rotate from one activity to another. In instances where no references are held, the teacher may wish to discuss the priorities under which book selections are made, and survey students to find out what additional resources they might like to see held in the library.

No answers are provided for any of the activities or quizzes. Many are open-ended, and all can be done individually or as group activities. The quizzes are intended both as an incentive to explore the contents of the reference and nonfiction sections, and as a reward for children with inquiring minds.

One sample Search Strategy sheet is provided, which features the use of book and non-book materials and the recording of sources, complete with Dewey decimal numbers. For the class teacher and other specialist teaching staff, there are request forms for Cooperative Programme Planning and for Library Skills teaching to classes.

By using this book with your students and working with them to maximise their library usage and information seeking skills, you will contribute to the lifelong learning patterns and intellectual curiosity of a generation of young people.

Ready-Ed Publications; April 1996
36 pages; ISBN 9781863971195
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Library Skills
Author: Susan Levy; Rod Jefferson

The Dewey Decimal System

Non-fiction books are numbered with a special code, which is called the Dewey Decimal System.

On the spine of a book, you will see a label like this.

The code describes the subject of the book.
The letters are the first letters of the author’s surname.

This will be a book about ghosts by a person whose surname begins with the letters SMA.

e.g. Ghosts and Apparitions, by K. Smart.

Or it could be a book, the title of which starts with the letters SMA, if the author is not named.

e.g. Small Ghosts, Large Ghosts (author not stated).

Dewey numbers range from 000 to 999 and are divided like this:


000-099 General Subjects Computers, Libraries, Journalism

100-199 Philosophy Things people think about

200-299 Religion Bible, God, all religions

300-399 Social Sciences Law, Education, Politics

400-499 Language About languages

500-599 Pure Science Mathematics, Astronomy, Biology

600-699 Technology Medicine, Engineering, Manufacturing

700-799 The Arts Art, Architecture, Music

800-899 Literature Literature in all languages

900-999 History and Geography Earth and Universe