"Ms. Margocs, can I take the shelf elf quiz?" A student confronts me in the midst of checkout chaos, and I quickly glance at the clock. "Sure, we've got ten minutes left. Let's head over to the computers."
I exit out of all the current screens, and ask the student to navigate to our online catalog. Just about every student has done this with ease, first finding the school website, then the library site, clicking on the navigation bar once there. One task checked off.
"All right. I need a book about sharks. Can you help me find one?" I see the student type in "shark", and the book list pops up on the screen. Another skill demonstrated; check. "Are any of these available for checkout?"
"Yes, Ms. Margocs, this one." "Great," I say, "what's the call number?"
"E SAU," the student replies.
"Can you find it for me on the shelf?" I ask. The student heads to our Fiction section. I wait a minute or so as the student searches in vain for the book, then walk over and prompt again for the call number. "It's E SAU," the student says. "What does the E stand for?" I ask.
"Fiction," is the reply. I give another prompt, but to no avail. I stop the student before frustration sets in, as the rest of the class is lining up to leave.
"I know it's been awhile since you've looked at the Everybody books. Remember, that's what the E stands for. Take some time to walk around the library when you get a chance, and then come back to take the quiz again. Okay?"
At the next break between classes, I dash off a note to the secondary-level teachers on my elementary campus, with a suggested challenge to third, fourth, and fifth graders to choose an "Everybody" book at their next library visit. After receiving a positive response, I peruse the online catalog for picture books with higher level text, and begin pulling books and placing them on a cart by the circulation desk.
The next day, as fourth graders file in, I announce the challenge. A smile crosses my face as I hear the "oohs" and "aahs" from students rifling through the cart, and see a few come through the checkout line.
Task completed. Check.