Kids can be a little silly when it comes to picking out their own books at the library.
Where some can easily head right on over to the section they want, grab the books they want, and quickly find a quiet, cozy spot to read, others need . . . a little more direction.
And believe me, I’m all for giving kids time to browse the shelves, look around, relax and explore.
Our kids are so totally lucky to have so many books at their fingertips. Let’s give them a little direction so they can make the most of a trip to the library or to their school media center.
So after chatting with my pal Heather, and after my own kids’ crazy library book experiences, I decided to create a little Library Plan sheet. They work.
They help give kids focus when they’re faced with All. Those. Books.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Create a Library Plan–Make the Most of a Trip to the Library:
I am not lying when I say that in Owen’s first three years in elementary school, he brought the same random book about dogs home at least ten times. It was a small, hardcover book about chihuahuas. And the fifth time it landed on our kitchen table, I asked why he brought it home again, and he said Because I like it.
I suggested that he try searching for other books about chihuahuas or even other books about dogs, but he said, No. I like this one.
The next year, when the book ended up back at our house, I gave him a little more nudging. You’re sure you love that book that much? I mean, haven’t you memorized it by now?
He assured me that he just ‘really liked it’.
What I learned is that Owen doesn’t really care about his library books. He really doesn’t.
His goal? Grab a book. Bring it back to his class. Bring it home. Maybe take it out of his backpack, depending on the day–maybe not. Bring it back to school. Put it in the library bin. Done. Bam. Check it off. Gimme the next thing.
So rather than have him do the same thing this summer–a time when we usually hit the library as a family pretty often–I decided it was time to make the Library Plan.
Heather asked me a while ago if I had anything she could use for her boys, and really, I didn’t.
But now I do.
Small enough to fit inside a pocket or in the cover of a current library book, the Library Plan is super-simple.
The Library Plan is here to download if you so choose: library book plan
library book plan | help kids make the most of a trip to the library!
It includes a space for titles that kids might be seeking, authors, and subjects. And in case you do your book searching from home, accessing your library’s card catalog via the library website like we often do, there’s a spot for notes, too. I thought that would be a great space to write down call numbers, messages, anything you want to remember from your at-home searching.
The Library Plan also includes a ‘think’ spot where all sorts of topics and ideas are added. I’m hoping that as Maddy, Owen, and Cora fill out their Plan sheets, these ideas jog their minds and helps to give them some things to think about or look for at the library.
And that’s it.
We used the Library Plans as the first day of our Tabletop Surprises this week, and they worked.
Really, truly helped to keep our afternoon trip to the library focused and productive.
What do you think? Will these work for your kids or students? What should we add or change? Do let me know!
I love this idea! May I link it to our local library?
yes, yes! absolutely, lisa! totally appreciate you reading and thank you THANK YOU for a link back!
I’m going to try this!! Especially using it with the catalog for my going to 4th grader. He’s at the point that he knows what subjects he likes but doesn’t know how to locate them. Will try having him write down call numbers and author names to help him find books quicker. Will use your form exactly as is for him.
Now for my Little Missy… ! It’s another story. Going to 2nd grade, but very, very scattered and unfocused. She goes to shelves and pulls off a book, and pushes it back in. I watched her do this to 10 books in a row and then asked why she was putting them all back. She said “I didn’t like it”. Then it came to me– she was literally judging the book by it’s cover. She never opens a single one and will spend 20 minutes (I timed her once) just pulling books off, never opening them. So for her, I think I’ll make the sheet simpler: just a subject that she’s interested in and then help her find titles. I already made a rule that she HAS to open each book and read the first 3 pages to decide if she likes the book. If I’m not watching her, though, she reverts back to her old habits.
CeCe–AWESOME! I love how you can adapt it for each child. . . maybe I should make a more simple one for younger kids. Let me know what you decide to do. I’d love to see yours if you’ve made it!
I love this form! I’m going to try it with my classes at different grade levels this year. I’m a media specialist in an elementary building. Thanks for sharing it!!
you are SO welcome, Sharon! If you can make any suggestions as to how I can improve it, let me know–always trying to make things work better!