Flexible Scheduling in the Elementary School Library


Many elementary school librarians need help with getting support for a flexible schedule in their library and advice on how to manage a flexible schedule successfully. If you have a flexible schedule, please help us out by contributing to this page! Thanks! (Regina Hartley)

What makes a Flexible Schedule ... Flexible?

What makes a flexible schedule different from a fixed schedule?

Note: A flexible schedule is not necessarily a schedule, although there is scheduling involved.


Importance, Benefit

Talking Points to Support a Flexible Schedule

Some librarians need help "selling" their school, teachers, administrators, or parents on the benefits of a flexible schedule.



AASL Position Statement on Flexible Scheduling
Read this first!
AASL Essential Links on Flexible Scheduling
More resources to get you started!
"Flexible Scheduling Implementing an Innovation," American Library Association, September 27, 2006.
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volume9/flexible.cfm (Accessed June 07, 2011)

Great discussion of flexible scheduling and flexible access in the school library media center. Review of literature and interviews with SLMS who have successfully implemented flexible scheduling. Published in 2006, but still relevant today. Read the 11 Assertions in the body of the article for great points when considering flexible scheduling in your library. (Regina Hartley)
Excellent resource.
Creighton, Peggy Milam. "Flexible Scheduling: Making the Transition." School Library Media Activities Monthly, January 2008.

"Flexible Scheduling & Your School Library: A Guide for Parents" http://www.lisd.net/schools/bluebonnet/flexschedulebrochure.pdf

Many parents are familiar with fixed schedules, and it would help them to know what a flexible schedule is and how it works. This example is from Lewisville Independent School District in Flower Mound, TX.
Info for parents!

How Does Your Flexible Schedule Work?

Please tell us about your flexible library program and ideas that make it work for you and your school. Share your contact info and any helpful links.

Examples of Flexible Libraries

Links, Comments

We have a combination fixed and flexible schedule. PreK-3 come for fixed lessons, and gr. 4/5 are flex.
Gr. 4/5 still like to come once
per week to check-out, but I have asked them to come when I am BUSY with fixed lessons. This leaves blocks free for me to work with gr 4/5 classes on research skills. Teachers are more responsible for helping their students choose books and becoming familiar with the collection when I am not there to help. When I am done with my fixed lesson and that class is checking out, I can help the older students as needed.
Note: we have a large space that can handle two classes at once. (Sarah Ducharme - AISBudapest)
Library Schedule
Classes in bold are fixed.
Those in regular font are flex. Weeks are tabbed at the bottom.
I include this link in my email signature for easy access.
Our schedule is flexible except for Fridays which is storytelling day. This day is fixed for PreK, K, and some special needs classes. My para and I take turns reading and this last the entire day with a couple of breaks in between. No classes are scheduled on this day and students are not permitted to come on passes. With the exception of a couple of kinks that I will be working out for next school year, this routine works well for the teachers and students. I am considering fixing the schedule for at least one more grade level (probably 1st grade) because many of the teachers do not bring their students as often as I believe is necessary and some do not bring their entire class at all; only on passes. As far as signing classes up, I have a link at the bottom of my e-mail signature that allows teachers to fill out a brief form indicating the unit, lesson, and how they would like for me to support the students. I receive the information in the form of a spreadsheet which I can always share with my principal in case she wants to monitor how many lessons I am teaching.