Students in the Lower School are encouraged to read both for pleasure and for information. As they progress through Lower School, students gain an awareness and appreciation for a wide variety of literature. They also begin to learn the skills necessary to use the library independently. The Lower School library program provides support to classroom and special area teachers and attempts to integrate library goals and objectives with their curricula when possible.
A unique part of Knes Family Library's program is storytelling. Students in third, fourth, and fifth grades will experience oral storytelling, usually traditional tales from around the world, learned by the librarians and told without any books or props to distract attention from the story itself. In addition to being a great deal of fun, storytelling enhances language acquisition and attention span, as well as reading, writing, memory, and visualization skills.
Literature appreciation and library skills
Every year, authors and/or illustrators visit first through fourth grade students to talk to them about the creative process. During weekly library class times, second through fourth graders are introduced to a cross-section of appropriate literature, including fiction, nonfiction, and folklore. Third and fourth graders begin to evaluate literature critically by participating in the Sutherland Award program. As students progress through the grades, they begin to use the library more independently by learning the call number system and learning to use the online library catalog. In fourth grade, students are introduced to basic research skills and materials.