Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Share and Share Alike

In the past couple of days I have gotten a few, very sweet emails from other teachers and Media Specialists about the ideas and programs I have shared here on The Book Bug.  Although I do come up with a great deal of my own programs and ideas for the Media Center, I must admit that a few of the programs I am using in the Media Center are not 100% my original ideas.  I have borrowed from some wonderful, more experienced Media Specialists and tweaked their ideas into my version of their original.  I would like to take the time and acknowledge the creators of two of those ideas and explain my adaptation of them.

An idea which I have borrowed (or maybe maintained is the correct word for it) for the Media Center is Honor Books.

Mrs. Freeburg, the previous Media Specialist at my school, started this program. Books in this section are mostly paperbacks that have been donated by parents to the library. They are often times older publications and not in the best of condition, but rather than throw them out, they have become Honor Books.

Honor Books are not library books. They aren't barcoded or even stamped with the school stamp, although they are labeled on the front with an Honor Book label.

I don't keep up with who has them. Students are simply on their honor to return the book when they are finished.

Honor books are great for students who are repeatedly loosing library books and for students who have way overdue books. The Media Center policy is if you have an overdue book, you can't check out any more library books until you bring back the overdue book. If you have a lost book, you can't check out any books until the book is paid for or you have worked off your fine. Honor Books allow these students to still be able to have access to reading material until they can square up their library account. Honor Books are also great for new who don't have a library patron number yet.

One of my most successful project this year was also inspired by another Media Specialist.  There is a section in the Media Center I have labeled as "Wildcat Favorites."  The books in this section are the most popular fiction book series at my school.  (I use circulation stats and observations to determine which are the most popular.)  Our mascot is the Wildcats, thus the section title. 

The books in this section are in alphabetical order by the series title.

I have labeled each one with a pawprint sticker, which I got from the School Box, and marked them with (WF) in Destiny to designate the books as Wildcat Favorites for searching and reshelving purposes.

I adapted this idea from my good friend and fellow Media Specialist, Mary.  She has been such a big help to me this year, starting from this summer when she took a whole day out of her summer to help me begin to get the Media Center in good working order. In her Media Center she has a section of GOLD STAR books, which are favorite books of students at her school. She labels them with gold star stickers.  (You can check out her MC website here.   She really has some awesome ideas!) 

I have to say, the kids have loved the Wildcat Favorites section.  It is, without a doubt, the section that kids go to first when looking for a book.  It is so popular that I have had to limit the number of Wildcat Favorites that can be checked out at one time to one per student or there wouldn't be enough Wildcat Favorites for everyone to have even just one.

Here is a list of the series of books that I have placed in the Wildcat Favorites section:

The 39 Clues
Amber Brown
Amelia Bedelia
American Girl Series Books
Bad Kitty
The Bailey School Kids
The Berenstain Bears
Big Nate
The Boxcar Children Mysteries
Cam Jansen Mysteries
Captain Underpants
Curious George
Dear Dumb Diary
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Dork Diaries
Encyclopedia Brown
Fly Guy
Ghost Books by Betty Ren Wright
Gooney Bird Greene
Hank the Cowdog
Harry Potter
I Spy
I Survived...
Ivy & Bean
Judy Moody
Junie B. Jones
Little House on the Prairie
Magic Tree House
Marvin Redpost
Mercy Watson
Nate the Great
Pee Wee Scouts
Percy Jackson
Puppy Place
Rainbow Magic Fairies
Ready, Freddy
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Sports Readers by Matt Christopher

Just look at these before and after pictures of the Wildcat Favorites section on the FIRST day the Media Center was open for check out this school year.  Wow!

I always love going to other Media Centers because I get so many great ideas when I visit.  And for a Media Specialist newbie like myself, I am soooooo appreciative to my fellow Media Specialists for their creativity and willingness to share.  Afterall, it benefits more kids that way. So in the spirit of sharing, I am sharing with you a packet for the Prize Buggy program that I came up with for my school. (You can read more about the Prize Buggy program on this post.)   Just click on the picture below to snag your copy of the Prize Buggy packet.  If you decide to download, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear from you!

Hope you enjoy!


  1. Wow! I love your honor books idea! I have been so dismayed by the students who lose a book and whose parents will NEVER be able to pay for it. I'm sad that they don't have anything to read, and they can be the students MOST in need of a book.
    What a great way to put books in kids' hands! And I do have students who want to donate books they've already read. I like the label on the front to gently remind the borrower of the honor system.
    Thanks for sharing this super idea!

  2. You are so welcome, Cari, although, I can't take full credit for the idea. It was already in place before I became the MS, but I liked the idea so much that I continued it. It has definitely benefited so many students. =)


  3. Opps. Deleted your comment by accident Bibliocat, but here's the answer...
    I catalog the Wildcat Favorite books with a (WF) after the Dewey number. My county uses Destiny for cataloging and check out. So I also change the Circulation Type to Wildcat Favorites on all those books. This allows me to limit the number of those types of books one student can check out at a time. Because these are the most popular books, I limit it to one Wildcat Favorite per check out. This helps let all students get a chance to check out the most popular books, especially those Notebook Fiction books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries.

  4. Thanks for your WF info. I don't know if I can make a Circ type in Sirsi (My cataloging program) but adding a WF by the call number is an idea. I really like this idea and the Honor Books... I have a small library and I like add new ideas every year to make library a little more interesting. Thank you again.