About a week ago, I saw this picture on twitter and Facebook. It was getting tons of attention and it made me very curious about the impact this sort of mystery might have on readers. So…..I shared the picture on our Barrow Media Center Facebook page, and a few fans had some great ideas about connecting this to Valentine’s Day or to a box of chocolates since elementary students don’t really go on blind dates.
I took these ideas and passed them off to our wonderful library volunteers, Leslye Queen, Jen McDowell, and Hester Meyers who got the pieces in place. Leslye pulled books that were new or hadn’t circulated in awhile, wrapped the books in butcher and construction paper, wrote the barcode numbers on the back of the wrapping, and made a master list of the books that had been wrapped. Jen cutout hearts in preparation for a student creation area. Hester continued wrapping books and labeling the back. I found short blurbs for each of the books, printed them out, and glued them to the wrapping. I also made a small poster explaining the promotion.
All day today, the wrapped books have been sitting on top of a bookshelf and all day students have been asking what they are. I’ve just responded with “Listen to BTV tomorrow morning”. This has peaked their curiosity even more and they’ve started begging me to tell them why the books are wrapped. I love it!
Just look at how these students were acting!
- Each book is wrapped with only a blurb about it.
- Students are invited to check out a wrapped book and give it a taste because books are like a box of chocolates….you never know what you’re going to get. They will check out the books by typing in the barcode on the back.
- If they love the book, they should consider doing a review for the book so that it gets more promotion.
- If they know of a book in the library that should be wrapped, they are invited to wrap it, put a blurb on the book, add it to the master list, and put it on the shelf. There will be a “making station” available for them which will include paper, hearts cut-outs, glue, scissors, crayons, and markers.
I’m hoping that this catches on and becomes something that the students manage themselves. It offers one more way for students to connect with and participate in their library. It also brings attention to books that are new or haven’t been checked out while also challenging our tendency to choose books based on the cover or popularity. I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow!