can be a Booklegger? Virtually anyone, provided they are
available during regular school hours (8:30 a.m. through 2:30 p.m., Monday
through Friday). The main qualifications are a love of reading and desire
to share that love with children. There are no educational prerequisites
or financial requirements. Books on the Booklegger list are provided by
the Alameda County Library.
schools and what grades are visited? How often? Each Fremont
Unified K-6 class is visited once every 1 1/2 years. Junior high English
classrooms are visited annually.
is the time commitment involved in the program? During training,
class time is 3 hours weekly, and homework time is about the same. After
training, Bookleggers are asked to visit, 12 to 18 classes a semester.
A semester lasts 4 months, one in fall and one in spring. A Kindergarten
class visit lasts only about 20-25 minutes; a third or fourth grade class
visit about 30-40 minutes; a fifth or sixth grade class about 40 - 45
minutes; and a junior high class visit about 55 minutes. So, the amount
of time involved depends upon the grade level a Booklegger selects.
chooses which school and which grade level a Booklegger will visit?
Bookleggers indicate which grade levels they prefer. Each semester Bookleggers
indicate their preferences from the schools being visited and the assignments
are made based on those choices. Grade level preferences are flexible
and Bookleggers can change them from semester to semester.
chooses which books will be used? There is a select list
of books which the Alameda County Library stocks in abundance for the
Bookleggers to use. Bookleggers have a wide variety to choose from within
this list, but are strongly urged not to use books outside of the list.
The books for this list are chosen by the Booklegger Steering Committee,
which is made up of 9 members, librarians and Bookleggers. They carefully
screen books for their "salability", and avoid choosing award winners
(which are too well publicized), over popular series (Animorphs for example),
curriculum books, or classics (which are taught in the classrooms already).
The book list is updated annually with fresh new winning books.
well are the books received? Do kids really like the program?
Booklegger books are checked out 3 times more frequently than other children's
books. Our greatest successes are with non-readers. We frequently hear
from students who have never enjoyed reading before, and are now hooked!
It is interesting that though adults view the Booklegger program as a
literacy project, children regard Bookleggers as entertainment. This is
probably because there are no assignments associated with Booklegger visits.
Students are never forced to read these books, they can choose to read
them in their recreational time. They always great their Booklegger guests
with smiles and cheers - it's a wonderful greeting!
long is training? When and where does it take place? Training
takes 8 weeks to complete, 2 1/2 hours every Tuesday morning from 9:15
to 11:45. Normally training takes place in the Fall and again in the Spring.
Sessions take place at the Fremont Main Branch Library, which is located
at 2500 Stevenson Boulevard, Fremont. It's very important that trainees
attend every class!
is taught in class? What presentation skills are assumed?
The Booklegger training class assumes nothing - all the skills necessary
to be able to make an exciting classroom presentation are taught! We'll
teach you effective methods of storytelling, how to booktalk, how to use
props if you should choose to do so, how to mix genres, what books are
effective at which grade levels, how to work with gifted readers, reluctant
readers, and readers functioning below grade level. For several sessions
we have experienced guest speakers give their tips and expert advice for
successful booklegging. We'll have you practice your new skills in the
training class and, towards the end of training, you'll be able to visit
two actual classrooms full of kids!
pays for the Booklegger Program? What is the cost to the Booklegger?
In the beginning the program was funded by a grant. When the grant funding
ran out, Alameda County Library accepted responsibility for providing
the supplies and financing needed to maintain the program. The books on
the Booklegger list are provided to the Alameda County Library from donations
to the Fremont Library Trust Fund. Bookleggers only have to provide their
time and enthusiasm!
runs the program? The program is headed up by Gail Orwig,
the Booklegger Director. The program falls under the auspices of the Children's
Department, and is run out of the Fremont Main Branch. The Booklegger
Office is located in the Fremont Main Branch, in the Children's Section
of the library.