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Celebrating School Library Month at Fernbrook Elementary School

Each April, Osseo Area Schools celebrates School Library Month. At Fernbrook Elementary School, library media specialist Jennifer Malecha helps to expand her scholars’ knowledge with all of the different resources at their disposal. 

When a second grade class came in for their time in the library this week, they first sat on the carpet and listened as Malecha read the book “Henry’s Important Date” out loud for them. Students then took out their iPads and browsed an online catalog of magazines, including How It Works, National Geographic and Sports Illustrated for Kids. Students were allowed to go and check out physical books during this time as well. 

“The kids here are so enthusiastic about books. It is not a challenge getting them engaged, because they are so excited to come here,” Malecha said. “I think that is the part of the job I love the most, building on that excitement and developing a collection of resources that the kids are excited to check out and meet the staff needs for curriculum.”

The Fernbrook media center has both a large print collection and an extensive online electronic book collection. When students come to the library, they learn both how to find the physical books but also how to utilize online resources. They also spend time learning about digital citizenship and how to be responsible with their devices.

This school year is Malecha’s second as the library media specialist at Fernbrook. Due to COVID-19, students could not leave their classroom to visit the media center last year. Malecha did not want the students to miss out on all of the great opportunities the library provides, so she created and decorated a cart and called it the “book bus.” With the book bus, Malecha was able to bring books to students in their classrooms each week. When the media center was able to be reopened, the students retired the book bus to the bus garage. 

Now that the approximately 850 students at Fernbrook are back to enjoying their media center, about eight or nine classes visit the library each day. 

“I think libraries are so important for students because it is the hub of the school. You want it to be a place where kids and staff want to come to get what they need. You never know what students are looking for, what teachers are looking for, what staff are looking for and we are here to help people get connected with the resources they need,” Malecha said. 

At Fernbrook and all around the district in Osseo Area Schools, media centers will continue to be a place where students can express themselves creatively and further develop their passion for reading and learning. 


“I work really hard to develop a collection that is representative of all of the students here. I love nothing more than when a student walks in and says, ‘this looks like me’ or ‘I can identify with something this character is going through,’” Malecha said. “That collection development is super important.”