Quest Academy serves a unique population of gifted children and their families. Quest students are often enthusiastic readers, children who love to learn new ideas and new skills. The library provides books and materials to engage and stimulate their learning and imagination: high-quality classic literature, books with complex storylines and important themes, books by contemporary authors, a wide variety of nonfiction to satisfy students’ curiosity, and folktales to learn about the world and its people.
Quest’s new web-based library catalog, Follett Destiny, provides online access to the library home page, the library catalog, and a student web search program. The library home page includes links to subscription databases and to book-related links. Second through eighth grade students may log in to the catalog by using their school computer user name. Email Mrs. Carr for login and password help. firstname.lastname@example.org.
LINK TO LIBRARY HOME PAGE
In addition to the library catalog, the Quest community also has access to Webpath Express, a searchable collection of educator-selected and evaluated web sites. Webpath Express provides easy access to appropriate sources for student research.
Database subscriptions include NoveList (reading recommendations), Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, ProQuest Historical Newspapers (History Fair research), Science Reference Center (Science Fair research), and FirstSearch databases. Students and parents may contact Mrs. Carr for a list of IDs and passwords for the subscription databases. email@example.com
The library is open before and after the school day for checkouts and parent-child visits. All students have a scheduled Library class once a week. Lower School students listen to a book selection or engage in a research activity. Middle School students learn research and bibliography skills in greater depth. The stories and books read in Library class often support the classroom curriculum, e.g. Native American tales for second grade, and frequently include multicultural literature. In Middle School, students read and listen to short stories and poetry -- imaginative literature that promotes a love of ideas and their written expression. In the choice of reading material overall Quest stresses positive messages about personal courage, honesty, and responsibility.
Research skills are part of Quest’s Information Literacy curriculum. Throughout the grades, students explore and uncover Enduring Understandings (EUs) about Information, Communication, and Synthesis. Younger students learn about organization and classification, often using the library as a model. Intermediate students learn about research tools and how to search for and access resources. Older students begin to learn about documentation and crediting sources. In Middle School, students use the methods of professionals in their field: primary sources in History research, research on previous experiments for Science. Also at the Middle School level, students learn to evaluate information, especially from Internet sources.
Technology options in the library include computers for student and faculty use, a variety of AV equipment, a document camera and a SmartBoard. A folding wall makes it possible to close off a classroom area so two groups can use the library at the same time.
The library collection numbers approximately 10,000 items. This includes fiction collections at all reading levels (early reader through YA/adult). In the Middle School area students can find books that are listed on the Middle School Independent Reading List. (There is a link on the library home page.) Maintaining high-interest and age-appropriate collections for students of all ages is a priority. The library collection also includes a parent/teacher resource area, classroom sets, biographies, a small reference area, and a magazine section.
The library runs several popular programs during the school year to encourage reading. Quest students participate in the Illinois Monarch and Caudill award programs, reading or listening to the nominees and voting for their favorite book. Birthday Book Club is a very popular program at Quest (over two-thirds of all students participate each year); students come to a “Birthday” party and donate a new book to the library.
To see some of the books Quest kids are reading, check out the lists of Monarch and Caudill award nominees on the library home page.
LINK TO LIBRARY HOME PAGE