I think when you start a project you really never know if it’s going to work. You have your ideas of what you want to achieve but only time will tell. After 4 weeks, however, I think I can happily say that we are on the right track.
Last Thursday was my first 4-Week Library Admin day. I haven’t analysed everything yet but I can confirm that we have 98 members. This figure includes babies / children aged 0-14, parents (2) and teachers (5).
We have 16 Tiny Readers aged 0-2 years which is just beautiful and the majority of our members is 7 years+. Our members go to school at the Montessori and 11 other schools in and around Breda. To this day, 221 books have been checked in and out.
The Dutch students have taken me by surprise: 53 of our members are Montessori students and most of them (47) Dutch First Language speakers. I have checked-in entire classes but also had students arriving with their teachers or parents asking for The Little English Library card. I had hoped that having an in-house English library would support English Language Learning but did not expect it to be embraced with such gusto. Wonderful. It seems the books, activities and projects such as writing to students in California, have brought English alive.
With regard to activities, we have had one IWC and one Little Breda Monkey Mums& Tots Meet-Up. Activities have also included two Rhyme Time Sessions with Hazel, one In The Night Garden Story Telling Session run by Roz from Little Breda Monkeys and three Open Library Wednesdays. Mums & babies have been rolling up in force and Open Wednesday is starting to become part of the week for a number of bilingual children with English mums.
Our book collection is still growing and consists by now of around 1200 books and 50 audio books.We have also got book-related colouring activities available and a Postman Pat postbox to drop off the completed art-work. Self service check in & out system, access, facilities, location – all running smoothly.
So what’s next?
Well, I have had some enquiries regarding setting up other Little English Libraries so let’s see what comes out of that. I am still collecting books as our readership continues to grow and trying to bump up certain categories – oh yes you can never have enough pirate books. And I am starting to look into securing some more funding … still lots to do…
Thank you for collecting & donating books, volunteering to run sessions, spreading the word, getting children excited and of course visiting The Little English Library! Big Thank You also to the Directors of the Montessori School Breda Carla van Eijk and Monique van Doorn for offering a space & shelving for the library, free access and a space to meet up and run activities. Tash