- Special Pages
Mike Simpson’s Grade 2 students excitedly lined up in front of Qatar Academy’s spacious new primary library. Part of the eagerness is because they are the first class to step inside it. Once inside, however, they quietly looked around and settled in the majlis area as Primary Librarian Selma Kennedy told them, “Welcome to your new library! You are the very first class to get here and I’m sure we’re all excited to have a look around. What kind of things do you think can you find here?”
From books to videos to bookmarks and librarians and teachers ready to help them out, the students shared their answers one by one. And while these things are already a common sight in the previous primary library, the new location’s bigger space did wonders for its layout. The facility now has two distinct and separate areas allotted for teaching and book exchange with ample sitting in between for anyone wishing to study or to have a relaxing read.
It’s no wonder then that student Finn Steckart declared the new space a totally “cool” place to go to. “It’s cool because it has more books and there’s a lot of place to sit and look at books,” classmate Henry Moore agrees while holding up three books about Egypt, two in English and one in Arabic.
Kennedy pointed out that aside from the enlarged space and the ever expanding collection of the library’s books, audio visual materials and other learning resources, the more significant change this year is the implementation of intershelving. “The library term for it is intershelf. This year we’ve put the English and Arabic collection together, side by side, so children who want something about, for example, fish, will have choices in both English and Arabic.”
Information about these books – titles, author names – is also written in both languages and dedicated Arabic Materials Specialists are always ready to provide assistance to students looking for specific materials. According to Kennedy, the intershelving help the students, both native speakers and those learning it as a second langauge, in further honing and putting into practice their Arabic literacy skills which they learn in classes every day.