Our first field trip as a class was a huge success! The Sea Lions have been long-awaiting this trip to gather ideas for our classroom library and have some of our pressing questions answered by the librarians! They rallied for our last minute change of plans getting to the library and were delighted to travel by bus. It was a short trip and we practically had the bus to ourselves.

There to great us at the library was Peter Nguyen, the Presidio Branch children’s librarian. He guided us to a downstairs room where he had a brief and very informative presentation prepared for the children. In his presentation, Peter covered how fiction and nonfiction books are categorized (and the difference between the two), how the library acquires new books, the rules of the library, how many books can be checked out on a card, how books are transported from branch to branch, and the importance of caring for borrowed books. The best of all, in our opinion, came when he opened the floor to questions. We were blown away by all of the Sea Lions’ incredibly thoughtful and sophisticated questions! Below are just a few Peter answered at the end of his presentation:

Phoebe: Why are some of the books donated?

Roch: What happens if a page rips?

Lila: What if a book gets damaged and you can’t fix it?

Ellie: How do you try not to rip the book?

Brooke: How do you make bar codes?

Peter: Do you have steam train books? Who makes scanners?

Jack: Do the people who work here get paid and does the rest of the money go to the library?

Belle: What books do you like to read?

Peter the librarian closed his time with us with a lively reading of one of his favorites, Pete the Cat (which, we determined as a class, is fiction).

Before exploring the children’s section on our own, we stopped to check out a new installation at the library, a section of a San Francisco scale model from the 1940s. The Sea Lions were excited to spot Alta Plaza park and a number of other landmarks in the model.

We saved the last ten minutes of our trip for exploring the children’s section. Many of the Sea Lions were already very familiar with the space, heading straight for their favorite shelves to pick out books or games. Some asked Peter for help finding particular books, while others went to study the sticker labels Peter told us are used for categorizing books. While we could have spent hours there, we had to get back for lunch.  So, with a goodbye to our new friend Peter, we set out on our return walk!


Peter the librarian also gave us suggestions for how we can categorize the books we made for our Sea Lion library. On Friday, we put some of his suggestions into practice, sorting classroom books by categories. This was not an easy task, especially with 21 different takes on the theme for each book! We did, however, come to some mutual agreements on general categories for several of our books, and will continue getting our library organized and ready for play in the coming weeks. Below, the Sea Lions sorted our well-known book collection into “snow (and weather),” “helping,” “learning,” “extraordinary things (and girls),” and “gardening.” Next, we’ll categorize the stories the children are writing and label them accordingly!

We’d also like to give a special shout-out to all of our volunteer moms who helped make our field trip possible! Thank you for your flexibility and enthusiasm, and for helping us guide the children there and back safely!