The middle school libraries continue the mission of expanding students’ intellectual and reading development with their larger and more complex collections and appropriate instruction and reading guidance.
Students come to the library at fixed and regularly scheduled times with their English classes and also for research and research instruction with subject teachers. They may also come independently before school, during breaks, lunch periods and after school. In the middle school libraries, the focus is on advancing the development of students' skills in critical thinking, literature appreciation and research skills with the recognition of the special needs of middle school age children.
Middle School student have a scheduled library period, where they come to the library with their English teacher. In every grade, in addition to library skills instruction, students further their literary appreciation and reading interests through student and librarian book talks, reading lists and author visits. Every student is provided with time to choose personal reading materials.
In Middle One, library instruction concentrates on understanding the organization of this larger and more complex library and accessing library materials through the electronic catalog. There is also a focus on constructing key word searches, both for using the electronic catalog effectively and efficiently and as an introduction to database searching. Bibliographic instruction continues during research projects in science and humanities. A unit on using the New York Public Library Children's page website and resources ends the year.
By the end of Middle Two students are using full MLA bibliographic format. Research skills instruction continues in the higher grades during science, humanities and health research projects which are required by subject teachers. Middle Four students also do research for debates with their English teacher.
Personal reading is emphasized in every grade, always with a focus on expanding intellectual development. In addition, Middle Two students participate in a reading incentive program called Challenge of the Books; Middle Three students explore mystery literature in the fiction collection; Middle Four students explore the biography collection, choosing a memoir to read, which is in preparation for writing their own autobiography.