20 All-Too-Realistic Conversations You Can Relate to in Your Own Elementary School Library by Angela Ferraris

20 All-Too-Realistic Conversations You Can Relate to in Your Own Elementary School Library by Angela FerrarisI find I need to set aside a lesson during the beginning of the elementary school year to teach what I call library manners.  Taking  time out of the precious little time I have with my students to teach them how to behave around others, creates a harmonious library class   with fewer interruptions. I have found it to be more effective if I am direct and use humor with the students.  These are some of the conversations I suspect I will have upon the return of winter break when I will need to review with my students, once again, the  appropriate library class behavior and practices:

  1. If you feel sick to your stomach, run to the trash can. Do not tell me you are going to throw up. The trash cans are located by each door.
  2. Let me show you how to turn the page of a book. We turn from the top of the page’s end or the bottom like this. No. We never turn from the middle of the page. Yes. That probably is why all those pages are torn in the  middle like that. No. We do not lick our fingers like your mom does when she is reading her magazines.
  3. We do not pick our noses, and especially, we do not pick our noses and eat the boogies (many grosses and groans will be heard). Instead, we use a tissue located here on my desk. After you throw away the tissue in the trash can, not to be confused with the recycling bin, use this hand sanitizer. This is also if you have a cold and need to blow your nose. We do not wipe our noses on our sleeves.
  4. If you have a cough, be sure to do the Dracula like this(demonstrating). Cough in the crook of your elbow so that others and your librarian  do not get sick like  you. This also works if you have to sneeze. Do not cough or sneeze in your hands. This will only spread more germs when you touch

    Source: health.arizona.edu

    something.  Remember, if you forget to do the Dracula, there is hand sanitizer up here at my desk to use.

  5. If you have gas from here or there(pointing), you always say, “Excuse me,” afterwards. Everyone burps or farts…even the President.
  6. If you need to use the restroom, it is not necessary to tell me number 1 or 2. Ask, “May I use the restroom, please?” I will always say yes.  If we are in the middle of a lesson and I’m talking, do the sign language for bathroom like this. Cross your fingers, and raise it by your head.    Don’t be surprised if I do not allow you and your best friend go to the bathroom at the same time. I am aware of the monkeying around some of you do in the hallways. Yes. I am aware of the sign for waterjack_crossing_his_fingers. You may get a drink of water AFTER the mini-lesson when it is time to browse for your  books. No. You may not just leave the library. You will need to ask, “May I get a drink of water, please?” Well, actually it is “may” instead of “can”. “Can” means does that person have the ability to get a drink of water.  Can he physically walk to the fountain and push the button? “May” means asking permission to do so.
  7. Do not balance your book on your head. It will fall off and land on the hard floor causing damage to the book.  Treat your book like a baby. Would you kick your baby across the floor? Would you step on your baby to reach for something on a high shelf?  Would you leave your baby-21971_1920baby outside in the rain all night? When your teacher wants to have a bathroom break before or after library class and requires you to put your book(s) on the hallway’s floor, bend your knees and gently put your baby down. And never take your baby into the bathroom with you. Ever.
  8. These are bookmarks. They are to save your spot in the book when you need to temporarily stop reading. Do not dog ear your page(demonstrating by putting hands on either side of my ears and making slow waving gestures). This will damage the pages of the books(I pretend to dog ear a page from a picture book). Here are the book marks. If you do not want a book mark anymore and it is in good condition, put it back in here and get another one. No. I do not want you to use post-its.  Not all post-its are made the same. Some leave a sticky residue on the pages, and sometimes, a page can tear when taking off the post-it. Yes. I am aware that your teachers do that in the classrooms. I already warned your teachers about the perils of post-its. dont-even-think-about-it-1432948_1280
  9. If your water bottle or juice box opened inside your backpack where  you are keeping your library book, please do not pretend it did not happen and try to check your book in without telling me.  The book may be dry on the outside because of the Mylar plastic jacket, but the pages inside are soaked and heavy. If you do not tell me and you put that book on the return cart, I will notice it is heavier than the other books and when I open it, will not be surprised to see spots of mildew growing all over the pages.  This mildew can grow to the other books surrounding it. Yes. It may be an accident, but you will need to pay for the replacement of the book. Here, let me show you this book that has mildew growing all over it. I have it doubled bagged in plastic, so spores will not spread to the library. Yes. That person did have to pay for damaging the book. Yes. Even if it is an accident. No. I am not telling you who did this. We talked and she  is fine with me sharing her damaged book so others can see what mildew and mold look like.
  10. No. Never take the jacket off of a library book. You know how you wear a jacket to keep from getting wet or to keep yourself safe from dirt? So is the book. Yes. I know that not all books have jackets, but I wish that they did.
  11. If you accidentally bump into someone, you need to say, “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry” or “Pardon me”. Otherwise, someone will think you did it on purpose. board-229731_1280
  12. We are not ditching or cutting in line. If you get out of line, you go to the end of the line. No. We are not letting others go in front of us even if you say it is okay. They are actually ditching all the people in back of you. How would you feel if you are at the grocery store with your mom waiting in a long line and someone just pushes her cart in front of yours? That is not okay. Yes. I suppose she could get punched in the nose. But we do not do that when it happens at school. Just let me know, and I’ll tell that  person to go to the end.
  13. You are not to talk while I am teaching. The people around you are trying to learn. You are disrupting their learning. We are here to learn. Yes. That’s true. We are here to have fun at times too. But, no one is talking when I’m teaching. Just raise your hand if you have a question. I am person-976759_1920not taking questions right now. Please ask your questions at the end of this section.
  14. We are not talking or sharing when I am reading to you. I will read the whole book so that you can see and hear the rhythm and rhyming of the story and feel the book’s emotions. We will always have time at the end for comments. Yes. You can then tell me after the story how your father has the same first name as the author’s.
  15. We do not eat or drink while reading. How would you feel if you opened a book and saw crumbs in it? Or if the pages had sticky strawberry jam on it? Yes. Bubble gum counts. I heard about your brother blowing a bubble and it landing on the library book’s page.
  16. Well, yes. Puppies do  like to chew on books. You need to think of a safe place for your book when you are reading it at home. Perhaps putting it in a drawer or a high shelf. Your cat canpuppy-1502565_1920 jump all the way to the top of your shelf? Perhaps you could just keep your book in your book bag. He peed on your book bag and you had to get another one? Maybe you could keep your book in your desk at school. You don’t have desks in your classroom? How about in your cubby? Just not check out a library book? No. Not an option. You need to feed your brain.
  17. If you take a book off the return cart and several books fall down onto the floor, should you a) pretend you did not notice, b) step over them, or c) pick them up and put them back on the cart?  What if you see that happen to one of your classmates? Laugh? No. What kind gesture could you do if that happens to someone else? Yes, go over and help them. What if you both want a book? Well, the person who has it in his hand first gets it. What if you both have it at the same time? Well, the two of you can roll this giant dice, and the one with the higher number wins. No. Not two out of three. Just one time each. It has to be rolled on thedice-152179_1280 floor.
  18. These are shelf helpers. This is how we use a shelf helper. Find a book that you are interested in reading. Gently pull that book off the shelf while putting in your shelf helper in to keep the place of the book. Look inside. Always open it, and look inside.  If you do not want the book, put it back on the shelf where your shelf helper is sitting. Take your shelf helper out and look again. Well, if your shelf helper drops to the floor and you do not know where the book goes, then just put it on the return cart. Back to the shelf helper.  Notice  how I am not playing swords with anyone. Notice how I am not banging all the counters with my shelf helper. Notice how I am not spanking my best friend with it. This shelf helper…yes, I realize that it is really a paint stick that you decorated…will need to last all the way up to fifth grade when you graduate and can take it with you. The wood is like a pencil’s. It will break easily if you try to break it. Nope. Not making another one for you. I will tape it up though, so you can use it again.
  19. When you line up, your mouth is closed, your book is closed, but your eyes and ears are opened. You should have a book hug. Hold your book like you are holding a baby or pet. One hand is underneath and one hand is around it.  If I hear a book drop in the hallway, it means that someone is not doing a book hug.
  20. Do not trade your library book with someone else. You are responsible for your book. If you lend it to Ethan and he takes it home and his dog chews it up, you will need to pay for its replacement. I realize it was not your dog, but you are responsible for your book just like how the public library has that same rule. Just like the real library? This is a real library. This is school library. That is a public library. I will teach you about the four types of libraries in April during National Library Week.

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