Pioneer Crossing Elementary Library is located west of Austin, Texas in Travis County. Its physical address is 11300 Samsung Blvd Austin, Texas 78754. Although it has an Austin address, it is part of the Manor Independent School District. The only two story elementary school in Manor, Pioneer Crossing Elementary serves seventy three staff and faculty members and seven hundred and forty nine students between the ages of three and eleven, in grades Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth.
The facility features a large open room with a vaulted ceiling. The east wall is the entrance to the library from the main hallway. Outside the entrance there is a large mural of our mascot, the panther, with its mouth open to the book drop. The inside of the library can be seen from the double doors and side panels, which contain glass, as well as the glass transom windows above the doors. This wall also features a roll down screen for projection with a carpet area.
The north east corner has an elevated seating area which faces a mural of a tree with many animals painted in and around the tree. The North wall and side of the library contains the large majority of the books available to the students and staff. Our new addition to the library, our Red Eared Slider turtle “Pepito” has his tank next to the non-fiction books.
The west wall features large glass windows as well as double doors which lead outside to a courtyard and garden area. There are four picnic tables outside under the porch roof, and the yard has classroom gardens.
The south side of the library has the circulation desk, entrance to the neighboring computer lab as well as eight personal computers inside the library for computer catalog searches and accelerated reader tests. This wall also features a mural of our school motto, “P – Practice Kindness, C – Challenge Yourself, E – Expect Excellence. Next to each large letter, the letter is represented in sign language. In the center of the library there are six rectangular tables which seat six students each, and six round tables which seat four students each.
The collection currently holds 10,000 titles, 242 videos, 78 Ipads, 44 Chromebooks and 58 Macbooks. All teachers received from the district an Ipad and a Macbook for their personal and classroom use. Teachers that attended a Project Based Learning program also received a bundle, which include four Macbooks, four Ipads, and a Mobiview to use in the classroom. Because we were the last school built, with the most advances technologically, we will be the last school to become one to one.
The mission of Pioneer Crossing Elementary Library is to provide students with a rich variety of materials to enrich their lives, advance their learning and to support their goals. At Pioneer Crossing Elementary, academics are above everything and unity keeps us together working towards our goal of giving the best to our students.
Pioneer Crossing Elementary serves approximately 3,000 households and has recently seen a major increase of Vietnamese immigrants to the area. Pioneer Crossing Elementary Library patrons are lower than the state percentage for white and higher than the state percentage for African American, Hispanic and four times higher than the state percentage of Asian Pacific Islander. It’s population is seventy three percent economically disadvantaged, fifty percent at risk and forty two percent limited English proficiency, which is double that of the state percentage. Student enrollment has doubled the state percentage every year for every grade since it opened its doors.
Although the immediate surrounding area consists of homes ranging in price from $130,000 to $300,000, the large majority of our students live in nearby rural housing, or apartment groups. Most of our families do not have technology at home, and a large majority does not have books in the home. The community relies upon the school for education and parenting classes, and over sixty percent receive free or reduced lunch.
Students are the primary users of the library. The current student body is seven hundred and forty nine. All students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade, ages five to eleven, check out books weekly. Grades kindergarten through second check out one book a week, and grade three through five check out two books a week. Extra books can be checked out based upon need or project requirements.
Teachers, administrators, counselors and support staff make up the secondary users of the library. They range in age from twenty three to sixty five years of age. Their educational background ranges from high school certification to master’s level. All pre-kindergarten class room teachers check out large groups of books to use in the classroom. All teachers have a small but important set of professional materials available for checkout to use in classroom planning and differentiation. The library is used daily for all grade levels and features in the rotation with the specials team. As the newest, and most welcoming library in the district, it is used fifty percent of the time for meetings with the local home owners association, clubs, trainings, mentor luncheons, panther pride reward days, virtual fieldtrips and other school events and functions.
The general public uses the library frequently and it is quickly becoming the center for meeting neighbors, faculty and staff. Parents of non school age children can check out up to seven books for a two week period, using their telephone number as a patron number. Pioneer Crossing also participates in a community outreach that allows students from any of the seven elementary schools to check out books at the school located closest to them. This is beneficial to our bilingual students who might be bused a great distance from their residence, in order to reach their instruction campus.
NEW COLLECTION PLAN
Based upon the demographics of the community, the quadruple increase in the Vietnamese population clearly shows a need for Vietnamese Bilingual books. A Vietnamese bilingual collection would reach the student population, which begins with pre-kindergarten age 3 all the way up to fifth grade. Included into that demographic would be parents, grandparents, relatives and educators for classroom and home use.
Currently the library has one Vietnamese folk tale book that has no Vietnamese written inside. The collection would need to start with folktales and fairy tales in both languages, as well as materials to assist teachers in the classroom. The books need to be in varying formats and reading levels, and will be mainly for students and staff. The teaching materials will assist in lesson planning, meeting TEKS, ELPS, language arts and culture exploration.
The goal of the collections is to increase cultural awareness, comfort the new students with familiar stories, and allow teachers to compare and contrast stories from different cultures.
Although the school budget really only allows about $300 to $500 to be spent on the new collections, a grant from our school partner in the amount of $2,000 would be a small but important step towards developing a Vietnamese Bilingual collection. The beginning collection will focus on general information in books, but developing topics will increase the scope of the collection. Due to the lack of one to one technology at this time, eBooks will not be purchased, and due to changes in technological equipment available on campus VHS, Microfilm, Microcard and Microfiche will not be purchased. DVD and CD will be purchased especially if it pairs to a physical book within the collection.
Materials will be selected based upon the following criteria:
Selection must have at least two positive reviews or awards from an educational or editorial source that is not a personal or publisher comment from a website.
Selection must provide different points of view and provide different educational levels.
Selection must be age and reading level appropriate, focusing on grades Kindergarten through second, with some materials in the grade three through five to reach higher reading levels.
Selection must align with curriculum needs and standards.
Selection must show authentic representation of Vietnamese culture, dress and design.
Selection must meet high standards in presentation, format, readability, content, accuracy, artistic or literary quality, and educational significance.
Selections are designed to provide information that will motivate students to examine their own attitudes and behavior, to understand their rights, duties, and responsibilities as citizens, and to make informed judgments in their daily lives.
Challenges might be brought up, but it is the job of the library to provide materials for any sort of research, comparison or contrast, and not to become the sensor of the community. Folktales and fairy tales represent a cultural timeliness. These selections represent a stereotype and style that can be used in a constructive, educational way to promote understanding and acceptance of differing cultures.
Any challenge can be made to the librarian either in writing or electronic message. Once received, thirty days will be taken to assess the concern and a decision to be made. The librarian, the principal and the campus cultural representative will review the concern and make a decision. If it is decided that the challenge has merit and a valid concern the book will receive a checkout note that will flag the student that this book might contain material not appropriate for their level, and that parental permission must be obtained before the book can be checked out. If it is discovered that the book is highly inappropriate or contains vast inaccuracies, then the book will be put with the professional materials, available only for staff checkout.
The challenge form is available on the school library page or can be found in the library. The electronic form is a Google document which is converted into a spreadsheet format for the purpose of collecting data on the library.
The new collection will be evaluated based informal observation and formal documentation. Informal observations will be taken by teachers and the librarian as the students search for materials to read. Documentation will be backed by circulation records. The librarian will keep in contact with the teachers who are using the materials for bilingual education and the librarian will also keep in contact with the district bilingual representative to stay effective and provide adequate materials Teacher input will help target the collection’s gaps. Community usage and comments can also contribute to decisions will then be made if the collection is being successful. The collection will be deemed successful if the circulation statistics show an increase of usage and positive feedback from teachers and community representatives.
All gifts and donations are subject to the same standards as outlined in the collection development policy. All materials donated will become property of the Pioneer Crossing Elementary Library and will either be added to the library collection or given to students for their personal collection during R.I.F. (Reading Is Fundamental) week. Rare and valuable materials we will be honored with a bookplate unless the donor requests to remain anonymous. All monetary donations will be used to improve the library collection in any area the librarian chooses. Birthday Books will receive a book plate honoring the student’s birthday and a thank you card acknowledging the gift. Donors will be required to sign a Donor Contract indicating the donation or gift is irrevocable and subject to the statements set forth in this Gift Policy.
The donor’s contract is available on the school library website and can be submitted electronically as a Google document which will convert to a spreadsheet for documentation purposes, or printed out and handed in to the librarian.
Materials are weeded based on the following guidelines.
Misleading and or factually inaccurate materials.
Materials that are damaged and worn beyond repair.
Out of date materials.
Poor examples of selections.
All discarded items will be moved to the professional materials as these will provide comparison and contrasting examples suitable for teaching. Materials that are excessive copies will be offered to other campuses that do not have the particular selection. In donating these items Pioneer Crossing Elementary Library helps maintain an open and working relationship with the public library and community.