One of the most useful items for thematic teaching is the library—both the one at your school and the public library. Along with the excellent selection of books and the ability to keep them for six weeks, comes one of the best resources available to teachers—the librarian. I have had wonderful relationships with the children’s librarian at several public libraries in a couple of states. In the old days they would print out a list for me of books available on my chosen topic, but now it’s easy to peruse the stacks from your computer. It’s still a good idea to touch base with them though because they are aware of new books recently published that you might only find by stumbling upon them. Their knowledge of fictional books on particular subjects is extremely helpful. Even though they have far too much to do in much too little time, they always seem willing to go the extra mile.
School librarians (if you’re lucky enough to have one) are just as great. They not only know the books, but they know the children as well. Developing a relationship with your school librarian will not only enrich your life but your teaching, too. Cultivate your librarian, people! There are some school librarians online who are a great resource for new books. Although I have only been aware of them for a few weeks I have already found some new books to include in the units I am working on. I hope you will check them out.