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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Farkas

How Does a Library Use Math?

Do you need to teach your upper elementary students how math is used at the library? Libraries use tons of math every day! From using fractions in their bookshelves to organizing books using the Dewey Decimal System, the library is a perfect way to help your students relate math to real life!

How does a library use math?

Show this video to your students which interviews a library circulation manager, Jess Patton, who explains to elementary students how she uses math every day!

What are some different ways that my students can practice this in class?

  • Have your students price out different books to create their “dream library”. See if they can come up with how much a new classroom library would cost!

  • Have your students create a mock librarian schedule! Have them create a daily schedule that includes a start time, lunchtime, and end time.

  • Have students research the Dewey Decimal System, apply it to books in your classroom, or put books in order using the decimal system.

  • Have students create their own library word problems. This can include fractions, time, or decimals! Have them trade with a friend in class.

  • Contact a local library (or visit your school library) to have students interview them about how they use math in their daily practice! Have them practice putting books back using the Dewey Decimal system!

Do you have any additional resources that could help my students?

Library Math Career Clipart

Where can I find more information on Worthington Libraries, the library, shown in the interview?

Worthington Libraries website:

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Real- World Math, Libraries! Libraries use decimals?



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