Friday, December 12, 2014

Kindergarten/1st grade Librarian Class Visit

In November, a K-1 split teacher at a local parochial school wanted a tour of the North community branch library, which is about a half-mile away and therefore walking distance for the small class.

Except, you know, when the high is 17 degrees.

After the class rescheduled twice and cancelled at basically the last minute once, we probably could have just said, "hey, we'll see you in the Spring." But truthfully, this wasn't one of our "regular field trip patron" classes and I really wanted to seize the momentum, not letting them forget about us. So, with the promise that they would in fact schedule a tour in the Spring, I went about concocting an engaging visit that would get a bunch of kindergarten and first graders sufficiently pumped about the library without them actually getting to go to the library, where many of them had never been before. They didn't even have a library at school!

I will always use this GIF. #gottabefresh

So here's how it went down. Like Kelly and Abby have addressed, 15 minutes is a perfect amount of time for this age group and this type of visit. Yes, to get through ALL of this. High energy is the name of the game.

-I started by talking about what a library is and why it's awesome their school is so close to one. I told them about things happening at the library this month, like the LEGO Checkout Club,

-I told them you could find all kinds of great books in the library. I took "Count the Monkeys" by Mac Barnett out of my tote bag  [that I got free for shopping at Publix during football season and oh my God Publix I miss you so much]. The kids literally cheered. I love it that there's certain books that kids know by heart but they will listen to them being read, anyway, forever.

-I talked about the different types of books in the library and brought some examples they might like: Elephant & Piggie, Fly Guy, an easy reader nonfiction book, and some picture paperbacks (Dora and TMNT). They were so excited for all of them, everyone.

-I let them know that there are also picture books, but TODAY we were going to read a book without any pictures. And of course I took out "The Book with No Pictures" by B.J. Novak. Turns out, they had JUST read the book for the very first time the day before with another guest speaker. So I played it like I had never read it before but it was new so I brought it. And they ate that UP.

One of the words I was kind of worried about, especially since this is a parochial school, was the part where the reader says "butt."I debated not saying it, but since they had just read it yesterday I kept it in. But I acted so shocked and embarrassed and exclaimed "I NEVER say that word!"

I deserved an Oscar, really.
-I then had a surprise activity planned: illustrating "The Book with No Pictures!" Truthfully, I needed an activity sheet they would be excited about but also had the necessary info on it ("Hey parents, go to the freakin library!"). So I printed out two activity sheets for each kid, one of "The Best Kid in the History of the World" and one for "My Head is Made of Blueberry Pizza." I BEGGED the kids not to draw ME with a blueberry pizza head. I knew for a fact that if I did, they WOULD draw me, and THEN they would have to explain to their parents/guardians who I was.

And truly, that's what I really wanted to do. As the kids were illustrating, the teacher told me that not only had many of the kids never been to a library; they ALSO believed that all librarians are really mean. Which who knows where they got that from.
Aside from TV, and being too young to understand that stuff like this
is meant to be ludicrous.

Want to make a similar activity for your outreach? Click the links to download our PDFs to use as a template:
My head is made of blueberry pizza

The best kid in the history of the world

What are your favorite ways to get kids pumped during outreach and sneak in some extra library love? Please share in the comments!


  1. awesome. And very sneaky.

  2. Hahah! I'm in the middle of organizing my feedly programming tag which is why I'm reading and commenting on this so after the fact, but the same thing happened to me when I took The Book With No Pictures to my son's class last spring! They seemed to enjoy it all the more that way, lying in wait for me to read certain parts!