Elementary Programs Chapters

By Bonnie Langan and Anne Neidinger

Deep in the Heart of Libraries

Books to Share

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book by Alexander Stadler.

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians by Carla Morris.

I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric A. Kimmel.

The Library Dragon by Carmen Deedy.

The Librarian from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler.

Stella Louella's Runaway Book by Lisa Ernst.

Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora.

The Library by Sarah Stewart.

Puppet Plays

“The Case of the Disappearing Books” on Pages 133-139 of One Person Puppet Plays by Denise Anton Wright. “The Mystery of the Haunted Library” by Rose Treviño, from Mission Possible, Spy a Book!, the 2003 Texas Reading Club manual, at http://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/projects/trc/2003/manual/scripts/hauntedlibrary.html.

Reader’s Theater

“Reading to the Resue” by Barrie Teague Alguire in the Elementary Programs Chapter of Sail Away with Books!, the 2007 Texas Reading Club manual, at http://www.tsl.texas.gov./ld/projects/trc/2007/manual/elem_dontrock.html.


Library Bookmarks

  • Crayons, markers, or paint
  • White cardstock or white construction paper

Invite the children to create bookmarks. If you wish, let them design logs for your library on their bookmarks, and then reproduce them and distribute them to children at your library.

Bookmark with Six Color Stars

Games and Activities

Design and Build A Library

Invite the architect who designed your library, or another architect, to speak to children about library design and building planning. Afterward, invite children to design and build their library of the future. Provide building materials of all kinds, including paper and pencils, building blocks, connectors, etc., and time to plan and build.

Book Cart Decorating Contest

Show some of the YouTube videos linked below of ALA Book Cart Drill Teams.

ALA 2008 Book Cart Champions at http://youtube.com/watch?v=TNVK-XITKE4&feature=related

ALA 2007 Book Cart Champions at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmtCZyKQslY

ALA 2006 Book Cart Champions at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlNm0TZrnyQ

Let the children form groups and decorate book carts. Award prizes in various categories for the decorations, such as most original, most colorful, most mysterious, etc. Then host a parade, or let the children create a book cart drill routine.

Library Pen Pals

Partner with a library in another Texas city for the children to correspond and share news. Provide postcards for the children to color, and let them write letters about their interests, the books they are reading, and activities they are involved in during the summer at the library and elsewhere. Invite them to include photos and drawings. Set up a mailbox and invite children to write weekly. Gather up the children’s letters and mail them weekly during the summer. Display letters and pictures that you receive from your partner library, read them to the children, or let the children read them.

Secret Library

Begin this activity by giving the children maps of your library to examine. Ask the children to imagine a secret area of the library. The children may work together or in groups to draw a map, design a logo, select a mascot, design a library card, web page, etc. Begin the creative process by asking questions such as those listed below.

  • If there were secret areas in the library, where would they be?
  • What would it be called?
  • Would there be secret doors? Where would they be?
  • Who could find the secret doors? (Suggestion: Children who read 100 books.)
  • To enter, would they need a secret password, perhaps from a book? If so, what book and what password?
  • What special books or collections would they find in the secret area?
  • Would they need a special library card to check out books from the secret collection?
  • Would the secret library have a logo? If so, what would it look like? Can you draw it?
  • Would the secret library have a mascot? If so, what would it be? Can you draw it?
  • Can you draw a map of the secret area?
  • Would there be a secret web page? If so, what would it look like? How would people find it?
  • Who will you share your secret library with?

Guest Speakers

Invite library staff to booktalk and read sections of favorite current or classic children’s books.

Books to Display or Booktalk

Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky by Kathi Appelt.

The Deserted Library Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

Exploring the Library by Alice K. Flanagan.

The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries by Julie Cummins.

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky.

Who Stole the Wizard of Oz? by Avi.


Prepare a display of photos and books about the history of libraries, and feature your own library. Display photos, newspaper clippings, and show changes in the building, technology, and space. Show how libraries and technology have changed, but explain that customers have remained the focus.

Bulletin Board

Book Reviews

Decorate a bulletin board with die cuts and covers of books, bookmarks, stars, a laptop, pen and paper. Provide an opportunity for children to review books using the outline below. Affix reviews to the bulletin board.

A Summer Book Review

Write your own book review. Check out our library, read a book, and review it

for other readers!

Title of Book______________________________________________________


Your Name_______________________________________________________

What kind of book did you read? Was it a mystery, science fiction, fantasy,

historical, funny, or something else?




Who was your most favorite character in the book and what did you like about

the character?_____________________________________________________



Who was your least favorite character in the book and what did you dislike about

the character?




What happened in the story? Don't spoil the ending!







How many stars would you give this book? Five is the most!

(Circle the number of stars)

Five Gold Stars

Professional Resources

One Person Puppet Plays by Denise Anton Wright.

ALA 2006 Book Cart Champions


ALA 2007 Book Cart Champions


ALA 2008 Book Cart Champions


Texas Reading Club 2009 Programming Manual / Libraries: Deep in the Heart of Texas!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011