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Posted August 10, 2015

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Volunteers Shelve Books at New K-8 School

George I. Sánchez Collaborative Community School welcomes its first students Thursday.

Dozens of volunteers including members of the Atrisco Heritage Academy girls soccer team unboxed and shelves more than 13,000 library books in preparation for the first students at George I. Sánchez Collaborative Community School.

APS' newest school welcomes its first students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade Thursday.

The school is expected to serve more than 800 students in its first year, providing relief for some of the southwest mesa’s most crowded schools including Rudolfo Anaya, Barcelona and Navajo elementaries and Truman and Harrison middle schools. When it adds seventh grade next year and eighth grade two years from now, the school is expected to serve more than 1,400 students.

Sánchez has two libraries, one downstairs for students in kindergarten through second grade, and another on the second floor for students in third through eighth grade.

Volunteers worked in the upper library last week with its floor to ceiling windows and spectacular view of Albuquerque. The massive book shelving project engaged the community in the opening of the new school, said Rachel Altobelli, director of APS Library Services.

In addition, the district is trying something relatively new – the books have been organized by categories instead of by the traditional Dewey Decimal System.  

“Dewey is a great system, but with categories, we can describe groups of books using words, which is a much more intuitive way to understand groupings for most people – kids and adults,” said Altobelli.  

She explained that broad categories will be signaled with see-through colored labels, which will add to the visual appeal of the library and make it easy to quickly find books. For example, all of the dog books will be together, labeled "Dogs," so students who love dogs may be drawn to a nonfiction book about dogs and end up finding a storybook or novel, too.

 Fiction books will be labeled as such so students will be able to distinguish them from non-fiction books.

There's also another component to this library collection: thousands of ebooks. “The ebooks will expand the breadth of the collection beyond what could ever fit inside the walls of the library and provide the students with even more opportunities to learn and grow,” she said.


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