Friday, June 3, 2011

The happy life of teacher librarians: the books with legs

My school assistants and I have been having a lovely giggle in the last few weeks about a couple of books that seem to mysteriously grow legs every lunchtime.  They start off innocently enough - placidly sitting on the picture book display stand, usually.  But at the end of lunchtime, they're down the side of a sofa, under a comfy chair, shoved in a shelf somewhat haphazardly - anywhere but on that picture book stand, face-out.

Any guesses as to why?

See, what's really funny is that any of us can trot up to the fiction section upstairs on a given lunchtime and find the group - and it's pretty much always a group, sometimes huddled and reading together, sometimes with a designated read-alouder, a different assortment of kids pretty much every time - enjoying these picture books.  And they don't stop and pretend to be busy and important with something else when any of us appear.  They carry right on, with half an eye on us to see if we're going to react (I just grin!).  I've had some, smirking, tell me these are appalling and rude books, and shoudn't be in the library.  I say I'm appreciative of their input, and did they enjoy them?!

Actually, they're charming and fun and convey accurate information in a friendly and accessible format.  Mummy Laid an Egg is another one in this category.  I've written about them before, here:

I love having books with legs in the library!

We used to have one with the immensely promising title, Boys & Girls & Sex, which started lunchtime on the nonfiction shelf in the 613s and rarely if ever ended lunchtime there.  Another group read, although it was drier nonfiction, with some drawn illustrations (sadly added to so often that it was one of the reasons it had to be disposed of from the library).  Its thumped condition attested to its keen readership (and they could work the catalogue and library systems well enough to find it independently, because sex isn't the first topic a kid's going to enquire about from a teacher librarian.  Besides, it's a well-known fact - ask any teenager - that no teenager's parents have EVER had sex, because the thought is just too gross and embarrassing for their kids to contemplate.  Immaculate conceptions, pretty much every kid in high school.  Remarkable, really.) but it had rarely been borrowed.  By gum it got to travel around the library though! - we'd find it tucked into all sorts of unlikely shelf locations. And reshelve it in the 613s, and wonder where we'd find it next...

Ah, the happy life of teacher librarians, enjoying the books with legs!




The Librarian said...

We had one like that - The Woman's Body Book. Often found it tucked under the shelves in the darkest corner possible... :)

Audrey Nay said...

Love the post-so good to be able to provide good quality information about topics that they do need to be well informed about...."lifelong learning" at its best! We have a "Girl's stuff" book that actually belongs in the parents section....amazing where it ends up.

Tracy Dawson said...

We had "Congratulations! You're not pregnant" in our secondary library - have had to cull because of missing pages, graffiti etc and cannot find it anywhere to replace it.