John Muir Elementary School houses a beautiful, comprehensive and interactive library for its students. Each class comes to the library once a week during which time they are read a story by librarian, Steve Healy. Mr. Healy often chooses books that have something to do with an upcoming holiday, a cultural or political event, a school event or a subject that the students are studying in class. After the reading circle, the students are given time to select books to check out. Students learn how to locate books using the computerized catalog system. They might also watch an author talk about his or her book, using the LCD projector and the Teaching Books website.
Students have access to the library computers and various software applications. Mr. Healy has a background in graphic arts/advertising technology and was the technology “go-to” person for a pharmaceutical advertising firm, prior to becoming an educator. He enjoys being a resource for the children. Sometimes, a small, select group of students become researchers and are assigned a project, such as conducting a biography study or learning about a Native American tribe. They come to the library for independent study and Mr. Healy demonstrates how to find and use the resources that will help them complete their work.
The library has its own website, http://library.berkeleyschools.net/john-muir-marian-altman-library/, which is available for you to visit and explore. There are links to our on-line book catalog, the Berkeley Public Library, on-line encyclopedias and a historic photo site (Calisphere). If you’ve never visited the library, or even if you have, stop by to say hello to Mr. Healy and to see for yourself how fortunate John Muir is to have such a wonderful, well-equipped facility to inspire children to research and read.