Earlier this year, I spent a big chunk of time with Johnson’s younger students talking about book care. Where should we keep our books? How can we keep our books safe? What can we do if a book gets hurt? Students were excited about their responsibility in keeping books safe – especially during Library Superhero Week! But as the year has gone on, some Johnson library users have lost their zest for book care, and our books are paying the price.
To remind students of their important role in library book care, I spent the week creating the Johnson Book Hospital. Although the back library office has always been the location of serious book fixing, the student-friendly signage helps to remind students that what is ripped, torn, colored, or split does indeed need to be fixed! Students can take a “tour” of the hopsital and visit stations where needy books are taped, glued, stapled, dried, pressed, or cleaned. If a student brings a book back and approaches me directly about damage, I will let them “assist in surgery” by holding pages while they are taped, helping me to erase marks, or sharing a Clorox wipe for a sticky cover.
Another new addition can be seen on the bottom right of the collage. Books that have recently visited the book hospital are now adorned with a “Band-Aid” to remind students that the specific title is fragile. The badge says: “OUCH! This band-aid means that I am recovering from a trip to the Johnson Book Hospital. Please be extra careful with me!” After a book has been back in circulation for a few weeks, this band-aid will be removed.
Hopefully these new reminders will help students to remember the basics of book care, and of their great responsibility when borrowing books from the Johnson Library. Please talk to your student about what a privilege it is to have such a wonderful collection to borrow from, and how critical it is that they keep their books safe. And if you see a book in need of a little TLC, send it my way – as Johnson’s resident Book Doctor, I’ll do my best to patch it up!