Book Care

Routine Name



Don't Let the Pigeon Touch the Books!
This is a wildly funny and appropriate video about book care featuring Mo Willems' Pigeon! Students will love it and you will be able to lead a great discussion about book care after viewing it!
Kudos to these librarians for creating such a clever video! Check out the BES Library Blog too to find out more about their program!

Classroom Librarian

Talk to your teachers about having a rotating classroom librarian who collects the books and places them neatly in the book box for collection.
Procedure for Book Box:
Class librarian remains at the box until all books are collected
Class librarian collects books, 1 student at a time, and
  • Places books neatly in the box
  • Holds books in place until the last student has returned books
  • Gives a final visual check to be sure that no books are bent/crushed
(Keisa Williams)
Photo of a neat library box placed just inside the classroom door.
Photo of a messy box.
A Blabberized Library Box

Book Buddy Adventure PPT

This isn't really a procedure, but its an awesome powerpoint created by LMS Jennifer Francis from Jan Ross, LMS at Dixie Elementary School in Lexington, KY. It is a suggested readaloud for August for the Kindergarten class on her school's website. Scroll down to the August Readaloud's section to view the PPT file.
(Keisa Williams)
Note: The PPT is also available here:

Do's and Don'ts Bookmark

pdf file poem about book care Print up to six and cut out to use during first week of school.
(Ann Mengel)

No-Never, Yes, Always

I got this idea from a classmate in my LIS program a few years back and use it at the beginning of every year. My K-2 kids love it. In fact, many of my 4th and 5th graders ask to see the box at the beginning of each year long after their primary years! It's a quick, fun review for them.
  1. Wrap a box and lid from a Xerox paper box with kraft paper or wrapping paper of your choice.
  2. On the sides and top, write or make a sign that reads "No-No-Never-Never Box"
  3. Inside, place items that represent things that can damage books such as liquids, food, writing utensils, pets etc. Some examples I have: crayon/pencil/marker, a pop can/juice box/water bottle, candy bar/ plastic food, a stuffed dog (pets), a baby doll (baby brothers and sisters), a shoe (reminding kids books should not be stepped on), scissors, stickers, etc.
  4. Each time you pull out an item, ask students why this is something that should not be around a book. After each item, hold it up and say something like, "Should your dog be able to get your library book?" The kids respond with "No, no! Never, never!"
  5. Finish by reviewing about how we DO take care of books - keeping them in a safe place (on a specific counter or shelf, on your desk), using a bookmark, using a book bag or plastic bag as protection, even in a backpack (How many books have you gotten back where a kid's thermos leaked or juice box wasn't empty from lunch? I've had plenty!), turning pages carefully by the corner. Just as with the box, I try to have examples there to show them.
Somtimes I follow up the next week with a story such as "What Happened to Marion's Book?""What Happened to Marion's Book?" for K-2 or "The Library Dragon" for 3-4 (read with my dragon hat on, of course!) and just review what we learned form the No-No-Never-Never Box.
(Shelley Lazarus)

When I do this lesson, I allow the students to come up and select something out of the box. Their job is to sort it in to the No-Never or Yes-Always box, and tell the class, using a complete sentence, why they made that choice.
For Upper Elementary, I have a box of discarded books. Each student selects a book and tells the class the library rule related to the damaged book. Ex. No eating while reading for a book that is filled with crumbs and oil spots...probably potato chips; No drinking while reading for a book with fruit punch stains; etc. (Another option for this one is to give each student a book and have them silently walk around the room and arrange themselves in groups according to what is wrong w/ the book. They have to use body language to communicate the problem w/ the the book or physically point out the problem. After all groups are together, 1 student reports out to the class "the rule" while all other group members hold up their damaged books for the class to see. I do this lesson in conjunction w/ The Library Dragon readaloud and my adapted reader's theater script (change the name of the heroine to a real student at your school...the kids love it!). I do both of these lessons wearing a white lab coat, plastic gloves, and a nametag that says "Dr. K"...because I am the "book doctor" and no one else should try to repair books at home ;) (Keisa Williams)
Another No, Never Lesson Plan

Book Care Lesson Plan, 3rd Grade Madeline Hunter Format with Common Core Standard:

Pictures and details on Mrs. G talks books.

No No Never Never drag and drop computer game. I made this earlie usinfg a Word template for a simple drag and drop game. The K and 1st grade students have been enjoying this. (Donn Bills)-

Mr Wiggle

For kindergarten, I read Mr. Wiggle's Book by Paula M. Craig and Carol L. Thompson. I have a stick puppet that resembles Mr. Wiggle that I let students hold while I'm reading the story. When they see me turn the page they need to pass the puppet on to the next person. After reading the story, I show students examples of damaged books that illustrate the story's concepts. At the end of class, I give students Mr. Wiggle bookmarks (Demco has bulletin board and bookmark supplies to support this theme - Google: Demco + Mr. Wiggle). ( Nancy Alibrandi)
Also check out this another Mr. Wiggle's Lesson w/ an interactive writing component & a Mr. Wiggle Worm Template.
Great place to make a Mr. Wiggle Coloring Page and Book Reminder page (just change the word BOOK to Monday Book Reminder, etc).

Upstart Activity Guide

Lessons about book care (PDF)
Upstart Activity Guide

I.Q. Goes to the Library

Students love this book- I.Q Goes to the Library by Mary Ann Fraser. It's about a mouse who learns about all the resources in the library when he visits every day during National Library Week. I ask my students to raise their hands if they spot one of Mrs. Binder's Reminders in the illustration. Mrs. Binder is the librarian in the story, and she has posted book care reminders (many are rhyming) all over her library. The end papers also have the reminders (plus a few more) and provide a nice way to follow up the story.
(Nancy Alibrandi)

The Shelf Elf

The Shelf Elf by Jackie Hopkins is another good story for teaching book care. Upstart offers a kit which includes a 12 page lesson plan booklet, the book, and posters. Shelf Elf bookmarks with book care rules are also available.

Book Doctor

I dress in a lab coat and stethoscope for my book care lessons, and tell the students I am the "Book Doctor." I use some really damaged books from our collection to show students what happens when books get wet or a pet gets a hold of them. My "doctor bag" of repair supplies, like tape and glue, is usually a big hit.

A Safe Place

We read Mr. Wiggle and The Shelf Elf and view a selection of hurt books at the beginning of the year. We, also, watch an animated video called If Books Could Talk. It is an older resource, but the children like the talking book that almost falls prey to lawnmowers, dogs, food and a rainy day. We talk about finding a safe place for our books at our homes. Each student is encouraged to describe a special place safe from younger siblings and pets. We use the Thinking Maps curriculum at our school and this makes a great circle map activity. (Donna Bills)

Books are Like Babies

I have a little baby doll I carry with me for this lesson and discuss how babies need special care and books are our babies in school. I have props such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, markers, crayons, juice box, etc. that I bring out and ask if we would allow a baby to have such items. When students reply, "No", I tell them that we don't have these items around books either. I also ask if we would leave a baby out on a table by itself, and when they reply, "No", I discuss how we should not leave our books out--put them away in a safe place when we finish reading them. We also talk about how we carry babies in a special way and how books should be carried in a special way. I can remind them to take care of their "babies" as they leave the library. Younger students seem to relate well to the baby doll and the additional props. (MJ Krufka)
Infant baby doll, various props.

Taking Care of Books for Kids

Great interactive website to learn about book care. There are two portals: students and Teacher or LMS.
This is a resource you don't want to miss. It not only includes interactive readings for kids, but also resources for teaching book care: powerpoint versions of stories, bookmakrs, lesson ideas, and more. Many thanks to Phyllis D. Gardner who created this as a graduate project for ED265 at George Washington University. (Keisa Williams)
(Note: Contacted Phyllis D. Gardner to obtain an updated link. 3/27/12, stand by for a response -Keisa)

The Daunting Dangers to Our Library Books

Wellesley College Library created this resource to expose the causes of "spinal injuries" to the library books.
Copyright 1995. Wellesley College Library, Preservation Program

(Emailed Preservation Librarians at Wellesley College asking for an updated link 3/27/12. Stand by for a response -Keisa)

Rip Roar Read Report

@keisawilliams Do you have a "Rip Roar Read Report"... on Twitpic

Idea from Karen Wanamaker's Instant Library Lessons . Students fill out the form and put the book in the "book hospital" box. (Donna Bills)

Click here to print your own Sick Book Slips
My son and Partner created a version the Rip Roar Read Report for my library. I clip these little slips to a small box in my library. I tell the students to fill out the form if they have an "accident" with their book at home. If the damaged book is self-reported, I don't charge students for the books. If I discover the book has been damaged later (in the cart for shelving or on the shelf), I charge the student for the book. I want them to learn about being assertive, honest, and responsible without continuing the punitive system I've had in place for so many years. Feel free to use these in your library. (Keisa Williams)
Order a Book Hospital Box! -Or create a sign for your box and make your own.

Print Your Own Book Hospital Sign

How to Take Care of Library Books video

This is a great little 5-minute video posted by kestover on TeacherTube. Excellent for PK-1. Mrs. Stover's daughters and dog are the stars in this realistic portrayal of what can happen to library books in a student's home. After each situation, there is time to pause and discuss what happened. Before the end of the video, the student does the right thing with her book and your class can discuss all the ways she made good choices. I do feel sorry for the poor Clifford book in this video. It takes a beating!
How to Take Care of Library Books Use this link if that one doesn't work.

If you give a kid a book

Posted on the On the Shelf for Kids Blog. 2nd graders write library-related circular stories based on the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.
If you give a kid a book

Book Care and Repair


Free Book Care Powerpoints

Free presentations for PPT

Animals Should Never

something shared on LM_NET a few years back. Fun with Kinders. (M. Dressel)
based on Barrett's Animals Should Definitely not wear clothing - ppt by Shelly Paul.

A Prezi for Book Care using the Pigeon Video
I have given the link for a Prezi created for Book Care. I used the Pigeon video posted above at the end of this activity!
Book Care Rules
Review use of date due slips and shelf markers - 5 minutes
Show video on book care located at - 10 minutes
Have each student draw a poster about the book care rule of his/her choice to display in the library.
While students are drawing, read Our Library by Eve Bunting - 15 minutes
Checkout - 10 minutes

From MCSD Teacher Librarians
Pre-K, Kindergarten
"Maybe a Bear Ate It"
Read the book, Maybe a Bear Ate it by Robie Harris and Michael Emberly. This story can be used to make sure students remember to put their books in a safe place such as their backpacks every day.
From Cari Young's Blog at:
Book Graveyard
Using the Book care rules listed above, I created a book graveyard with all the "dead books" that can no longer circulate along with a "cause of death." Students often remark how they would like to check out books from that shelf because many of their favorites are there. It is a constant reminder of the consequences of poor book care.

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