Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Make a Date with a Book

I have a secret...I don't do Pinterest. I know, I know. It's shocking and shameful--how can I call myslef a true librarian?! Let me just say that I have enough social media distractions in my life, so I fear I will completely neglect my family if I add another one. I got this GREAT idea for "Make a Date with a Book" from our district's library blog, but I think it's also on Pinterest (or so I'm told).

You can click on the blog link above to read about the original idea, but here is how I made it work for my library.

Since I am at K--6th grade school, I feel like my 6th graders are outgrowing the library, and I know that some think it's kind of lame, so I decided to make this a "6th grade only" activity to help them feel special and boost their excitement for books.

Here is the evolution of the idea:

I pulled lots of chapter books--about 70 to begin with. At first, I thought I was going to wrap all of them so that the students could take them on a "blind date." I used the existing bar code numbers and just made labels with the Dymo so that I could put the bar code on the outside of the package for no-cheat checkout. With the help of my sweet Mom and 10 year-old-daughter, we wrapped about 50 books. I quickly realized that I was a bit ambitious to try to wrap 70. I labeled each of the 50 books with the genre to give students some idea of what they were getting.

I made a "Rate Your Date" card to attach to each book for the students to complete after reading, I mean,  dating the book. If you would like a copy of this, leave a comment, and I will email it to you. After rating their date, the students will write a summary of the book to prove that they read it and then turn the card into the library for a chance to win a FREE BOOK from our upcoming Book Fair! I would love to give away 10-20 free books depending on how many cards are submitted into the drawing.

I sent an email to all of our district librarians to let them know that I was trying out this idea and share my "Rate Your Date" card with them. That's when they started taking the idea and making it even better. One suggested using paper sacks instead of wrapping the books to save time. Genius! Several said that they weren't going to wrap the books but just promote it as "Make a Date with a Book" so that the kids could choose one that they liked and have a better book to reader match. Love it! Many librarians sent pictures of their displays and shared their ideas, and it was wonderful to see how everyone made it their own. I had already started wrapping the books and was committed to the idea, so I decided to combine the two. So I made a sign that said "Make a Date with a Book."

The students could choose to go on a "blind date..."

Or since blind dates make some people nervous, they could choose their date more carefully. I pulled 70 books to include for this, so I incorporated both ideas. I have about 120 6th grade students, so I wanted to have enough choices if all students wanted to participate.

I had three 6th grade classes come to the library on Monday. I told them that since I thought they weren't old enough to go on an actual date, they could date a book instead. They were excited!

And from looking at the shelves, the blind date books were a BIG hit. I might need to wrap some of the other ones for the two classes that are left to participate. I am very curious to see how many students return the "Rate Your Date" card. I'll keep you posted. 

It's time to show some LOVE to your local public and/or school library! I copied this from the Facebook status of Mary Woodard, MISD's fabulous Director of Library Services: 

Texas stands to lose up to $9 million in federal matching funds for libraries if the legislature doesn't approve the appropriations request made by the Texas State Library and Archives commission. This means that our students will not have equitable access to the quality digital information that they need to be successful in the 21st century. Please contact your representative and ask them to fund Texas libraries!

For more information, please click here

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea. I would love for you to send me a copy of the rate your date card. By the way, I love your blog. I have used so many ideas from it! My email is