Often when students come into the library they may suffer from "Library Mind
Block", a condition when a student suddenly cannot fathom how or where to
start looking for books. There are thousands of books with their spines
facing out, giving away few secrets because the students don't know where to
begin. This gets worse when there is only two minutes of class time left and
students just grab anything, to say they have a book. This is when teachers
and librarians need to ask, "What kind of book would tickle your fancy?"
Children need to develop workable strategies for making intelligent reading
choices. We have been working on these strategies in the elementary
library. Much of this is done through book talks and story telling.
Listed below are some ways to pick a great book.
Ways to Pick a Great Book
1. It has a compelling cover.
2. The title sounds intriguing.
3. It was recommended by a friend whose opinion you trust.
4. It was made into a movie.
5. It is one of a series you've liked.
6. You are crazy about the author's other books.
7. You have read and liked other books with that theme or on that subject.
8. The book flap or cover blurb is fascinating.
9. The chapter titles sound unusual.
10. The first sentence or paragraph or page pulls you in.
11. Look at the illustrations and skim the text. Do the words and pictures make an interesting
12. Try the obvious. Look on the return cart and check the books waiting to be shelved. You will
find some good choices here.
13. Ask the librarian, who knows hundreds of great books and would be glad to make some
14. Think about books that your teachers may have shared. Would you like to reread a favorite?
15. Read about your hobbies or other special interests.
16. Browse through the non-fiction section. Something will certainly catch your eye here. Look
at the books on display.
The Five Finger Test
* Open the book to the middle. Select a full page of text. .
* Read the page (aloud if possible). .
* Put one finger up for every word you can not pronounce or do not know. .
* If you get five ( 5 ) fingers up on one page, the book is too difficult to read independently.
If you do not get any fingers up, but are reading very slowly and decoding
almost every word, you will not enjoy the book.
How to Take Care of Your Books
1. Carry your books to and from school in your backpack in a large waterproof bag, especially
if you carry food or drinks in your backpack. Keep your books out of puddles.
2. Keep books away from food and beverages. Please have snacks before or after reading your
library books and keep them away from areas where food is served.
3. Keep books away from younger siblings who might scribble in, or tear books.
4. Keep books away from pets. Books are not good pet food.
5. Turn pages carefully from the top right corner, not the bottom.
6. Make sure your hands are clean when reading library books.
7. Protect the spine of the book by always using a bookmark rather than placing it face down
with the pages open.
8. Always use a bookmark instead of turning down pages or using a post it, which leaves a
residue. Do not use objects not meant to be bookmarks, such as pencils. Anything too thick
will break the book's spine.
9. Designate one particular place to store library books and return books there after each