Thursday, May 26, 2011

GIFSL* 63: Cheap Bookmark Week (Thursday)

Kids have an ongoing fascination with name definitions - hardly surprising, as they are, as in the subliminal story of Possum Magic and a gazillion other books, discovering and refining who they are in the world.  I myself as a teacher librarian have had enormous fun solemnly assuring Kid A that the name of their best friend/ boyfriend/girlfriend could well mean "Viking vomit", but if they looked up this wonderful book it might be able to reassure them..... Oh miss, it DOESN'T mean that!

Parents have an enthusiasm (or used to, maybe most use the internet baby name sites now?) for baby name books, which become ripe for the culling when their baby-naming days are over.  Which is why you don't have to hunt extra extra hard to find a baby name book in an op shop/charity shop/garage sale.

This one cost me a whole $3.  571 pages.  Two bookmarks per page for most of it, four for others.

 That's over 500 bookmarks for peanuts (571 pages is of course half that number of actual paper pages) with a bit of guillotining.

Find New Characters At Your Library

There's a theme to which this could be tied, easy-peasy.  Book promotion ideas based around characters.  Have you met Severus Snape?  What about Harry Crewe?  and on and on with book characters as a way into encouraging students to try reading something new.

I know some teacher librarians prefer to laminate bookmarks - yes, it's more durable, lets you have two different sides stuck together and so forth.  I mostly don't laminate our bookmarks, for several reasons.  One is cost - we hand out hundreds of bookmarks in any given week, and laminating each would add significant cost; I'd rather be able to hand out as many as possible without worrying about how much they're costing, as I'm on a tight budget.  What I save on laminating can buy more books/resources.  Another is time - running the laminator, guillotining/trimming the results etc. all takes time.  A third is value - kids are kids are kids, and even if we give them a precious lovely laminated bookmark, I'm not so sure that most of them would treasure it as they ought.  Better a shorter-lifespan item that I don't have to stress about and they don't either (much easier to get a new bookmark with a new loan than have a 'dragon in pearls' interrogate them about the lovely bookmark they got last time, where is it, they should have brought it, well OK here's another but you take care of it this time, etc etc).  As I said in my first post, these are bookmarks I can hand out like confetti with a cheery smile on my face, and ones that can bring a smile to a kid's face because they're amusing/quirky/unexpected/fun.

I did have a couple of girls who were enquiring about when our next 'new' bookmarks would be out - and nobody was more surprised than me to find that they had a complete collection of the themed cardboard bookmarks I devise - Valentine's Day, Harmony Day, ANZAC Day, thrillers, holiday borrowing, winter reading etc.... It was heartwarming to know they liked them that much.  But for most of our kids, a bookmark isn't valued/collected like that.  But they do use them and appreciate the gesture/convenience/courtesy/kindness/fun of them, and that's the most important thing. 

These bookmarks aren't just on a stand on the counter, we put one with every loan - wand the loan, stamp the due date, dezap the security tag and add a bookmark, that's our loan routine, whichever of us is doing it.  It's an active gesture.  Here you are.  Enjoy.  Here's a bookmark to help you (and amuse/interest you too - I've never had one that just has the name of the library on it and no more.  It's too valuable real estate not to make it work harder and smarter).  These bookmarks are part of our library's PR.

Tune in tomorrow for one of my favourite cheap bookmark ideas (if you know about it, you'll be able to jump the gun on your colleagues who don't....)



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