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Winola students check out the library

Winola Library
Tracey Robbins, Library Aide at Winola Elementary, facilitates library visits for students to hear
her read books out loud and check-out books safely.


“Love it”... “Awesome”... “Helpful”... “Cool”.... These are some of the words students in Heather Barber’s first grade class used to describe their reaction to having library visits again.

Beginning in the 4th quarter students at Winola Elementary have been able to take trips to the library - with COVID-19 guidelines in place. Thanks to the creative thinking of Library Aide Tracey Robbins.

“They love it, they really do. I think it makes a huge difference that they’re in here, surrounded by the books,” she said.

During their visits, students are seated, socially distant - and using special technology, a smart board and a camera - Robbins can read aloud to children while projecting each page seamlessly to the board. This way during read aloud time, they can keep their distance.

“This is something I’ve never done in the past, I’ve always held the book up,” said Robbins.

“Sometimes the kids in the back can’t always see real good - now they can.” Barber said bringing her class in to visit the library again has been good for the kids, “It’s different scenery, it gives a little bit of normalcy.”

Students can even check out a book - Robbins has books laid out flat on tables so they can peruse and choose one to check out. Before this quarter she wheeled carts of books to each classroom.

Robbins also showed students the keypad - where they will eventually type their student ID - to check out a book. She said they won't be using the keypad this year, as they follow guidelines.

Each student is issued a six digit student ID number they memorize in elementary school that stays with them throughout their years at Sherrard Schools. They also use it for ordering lunch, and to log in on their chromebooks.

Memorization usually begins in the library. In a non-covid year, first graders are given a card with their number - they bring them up to the library front desk and type them in on the check-out pad themselves to get a book.

“To see their faces light up when they get it… after they keep doing it and doing it they get it,” Robbins said.

Cala Smoldt, Communications Coordinator