Sunday, September 20, 2009

How NOT to Treat a Library Book

Every year about this time, school librarians around the world are teaching lessons about how to treat the library books when they are checked out and taken home. There are any number of books out there about the care and use of library books, one of the most popular comes from the Mr. Wiggle series. Mr. Wiggle is the library bookworm who wears HUGE blue glasses, I got to get me some of those, and addresses library skills through cutesy rhyming books. For what they are, they're not bad, but how many times can a kid listen to a book worm wearing HUGE blue glasses named Mr. Wiggle!? In my first year I decided to add my own twist to the lesson by donning faux scientific protective gear, goggles, plastic apron, rubber gloves, and demonstrating what NOT to do to our library books when they go home. It was so much fun, that I decided to roll it out again this year, and thought I'd share it here on the blog. Remember, kids do not try this at home!

I am a highly trained professional! Everything you are about to witness today should NOT be done to any library book.
Please make sure your hands are clean when you pick up a library book, don't write in them, if you rip a page, don't tape it yourself. All of these things, I actually do to an old library book to the shock and horror of the younger kids, and to the complete delight of the older kids.Please don't eat a messy PB&J sandwich with the jelly squirting (insert appropriate raspberry noise here) out the sides or a messy English muffin with every nook and cranny overflowing with honey while reading our books. Yes, I smear jelly and honey all over the pages making an awesome mess on the pages of a book. The final product looks something like this.
It almost looks like some sort of modern art gone terribly wrong. Don't you think?


  1. Over the years I have managed to save a number of deaccessioned books from our collection for this very purpose. I have one chewed by a dog, another filled with mold, another with the pages all stuck together (I'm not sure how it happened but I tell the kids it's from eating a jelly sandwich) and last, a book with the pages and spine all ripped and wrecked. The kindergarteners all look on in horror as I pull one book after the other from my box. By the end of my demonstration they practically take a vow that they will baby their library books.

  2. I bet the kids really enjoyed this and got your message. They had to laugh, what a fun way to approach something you need them to do.

  3. Love this! I am organizing the CYBILS NFPK category and need two people for the judging and panelists. Do either of you have any interest? If so, contact me at macrush53 at

  4. I can only imagine the impact this lesson has on those young impressionable minds! I bet they squeal with delight at all the crazy things you do to those poor books. What a great, creative idea to get the point across!

  5. This is an idea worth stealing! Hysterical.