Are you considering the use of plastic bags for your library books? Here are ideas and resources.
Over the past years many books have been ruined by juice boxes, markers, glue sticks, etc., when school library books are placed in backpacks. I've also spent many hours cleaning candy and cracker crumbs out of book jackets.
I began to think about having our kindergarten through second grade students use a book bag to carry their library books in. This would be a plastic bag that stays in their backpack. When students put their book in their pack, it goes right into the book bag. When they remove their book, the bag stays in the backpack. Students will know that the bag is like a 'raincoat for their books.'
When considering this idea, I turned to the collective wisdom of LM_NET, the listserv of school library media specialists around the world. In response to my questions I received many good ideas.
Some schools use cloth bags that they sell to students at the beginning of the year. Students are required to bring their bag to the library for book exchange. No bag -- No book. I was surprised at the number of schools around the world that have this policy.
Others purchase bags from companies such as Demco. They like the reading themes printed on the bags. These bags are then labeled with students' names, class, and library day. Some librarians warned against bags with strings and recommended die cut handles. One librarian stated that her school cannot use the draw cord bags due to safety issues.
I have researched other options and may purchase merchandise bags from a company such as ULINE. These bags are available in bright colors, large sizes, at an economical price of $34 for 500 bags. At this price it would not be a large problem to replace a lost or torn bag.
Don't over look parents. I plan to send out a letter describing the purpose of the bag. With a little effort they can protect school resources and prevent accidents that will require paying for a library book.
Have you used book bags in your library? Do you have tips you would like to share? Share them in our Library Sciences Forum.