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Backup Books for the forgetful student

Creating a "Red Tape Shelf"

Do you want to be a librarian who makes sure every child leaves the library with a book if they want one? What about the kid who says "I turned that in months ago." "I never checked that book out." "It's in my desk?" (Love those question types.) I now have a Red Tape Shelf (that needs a better name, and okay, really needs an actual shelf....).

What is she talking about? This TL has collected books from donations, or advance readers' copies, or almost-ready-to-be-weeded titles, and set them aside with a strip of red tape on the spine. She's also added a sticker that encourages kids to borrow, read and return (if they want). These books are not catalogued, not barcoded, and are meant to be loaners for those "problem kids" who never seem to bring anything back. Everyone gets a book.

As an aside, I used to do the same in my high school library with National Geographic mags. Parents were always donating them, so I kept a stack handy, with a sticker on the front that said "Take and read this magazine - it's yours - you don't have to bring it back!" Also, at the beginning and end of the year, I used to create a display composed entirely of these magazines to fill that gap when I wasn't actually circulating materials. It gave everyone a chance to focus on non-fiction for a while!