Bringing books back from the dead

30 Sep

The spinners in the corner of the library are where good books go to die. It kills them, like fairies, when people no longer believe in them. They sit there, year after year, desolate and ignored. While I sit at my desk, I hear their spines cry out to me. They long to be read; to fulfill their destiny.

For the past few days, I have been watching students select books. I have sat down and chatted with them about their library book choices and here is what I have learned…. Students look at the new book display and the Hot Picks spinner (where we put the paperbacks acquired in the past year or two). They use the Hot Picks spinner to find the majority of their books and they view the other paperback spinners further back in the library as the place for “the old books.” Well yes, they may be old-er, but old doesn’t have to mean bad (this has become my new mantra with the big 3-0 creeping up on me in only a few weeks time).

There are some great books in those back spinners. Books like Monster, Watership Down, The Outsiders and many more. In an attempt to get quality books moving off of those back spinners, I have started a Guaranteed Reads display in the library. This was my big undertaking of the week. I purchased a new book rack and used my Cricut machine to make an eye-catching sign for the section. I want students to be drawn to the books sitting there.


I created a card that can be put into a library pocket at the back of the book. This card has the book information, who would enjoy it (ex. adults, teens, old people, young people, but not babies), a glimpse inside the book and the name of the person recommending it. Now, I won’t lie – so far, I have done most of the recommending but I make up names so it’s not just another book recommended by the teacher librarian. Ideally, students will be filling in cards for books that they are passionate about. I have also started stalking teachers with the Guaranteed Reads cards.

After working hard on this I was rewarded by some instant gratification. Yesterday, in my last block of Grade 8 orientation, four students checked out books that I had found hibernating on the back spinners and placed in the Guaranteed Reads display. I couldn’t hide my excitement! (I’m pretty sure there was squealing involved.) The Guaranteed Reads books are an easy way to ensure that students who don’t love reading, and even those who do, pick up great books when they venture into the library. Forget Heather’s picks, here come my Guaranteed Reads!


One Response to “Bringing books back from the dead”

  1. paola October 9, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    how can i get my hands on one of these displays?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: