Whatever Happened to Marian the Librarian?

Books to Share

Amelia Bedelia, Bookworm by Herman Parish
Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner
The Librarian from the Black Lagoonby Mike Thaler
Librarian on the Roof! A True Story by M.G. King
The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy
Please Bury Me at the Library by J. Patrick Lewis

Books to Show or Booktalk

The Deserted Library Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Girl who Cried Monster by R. L. Stine
The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer
Locked in the Library! by Marc Brown
Mrs. Roopy is Loopy by Dan Gutman
Young Cam Jansen and the Library Mystery by David Adler


Got a Clue?

Copy the Got a Clue nametag provided at the end of this program. Clipart copyright © 2010 by the University of South Florida, Florida Educational Technology Clearinghouse: http://etc.usf.edu/clipart.


Ask a Librarian

Listen to the song “Ask a Librarian.” The lyrics can be found at The Laughing Librarian, available at http://www.laughinglibrarian.com/bd_ask.htm.

I Am the Very Model of a Computerized Librarian

Sing “I Am the Very Model of a Computerize Librarian” by Diane M. O’Keefe. The words can be found at Cybrarian Humor, available at http://www.tk421.net/humor/cybrarian.html.

Tongue Twister

Little Lily and the Leaping Lizard Books

(by Megan Clark)

Little Lily loves the library and lollygags by the leaping lizard books to laugh loudly at the lofty librarian who leaps over her to reach the lively lobby.

Riddles and Jokes

Q: Where does a librarian sleep?

A: Between the covers.


Q: What did one math book say to the other math book?

A: Do you want to hear my problems?


Q: What is a book’s favorite food?

A: A bookworm.


Q: What did the book entitled Chills say to the other book?

A: I feel chills running down my spine!


Q: Why was T-Rex afraid to bring her books back to the library?

A: They were 60 million years overdue!

Top 10 FORBIDDEN Library Books for Children

(Adapted by Megan Clark from Guy Sports available at www.guy-sports.com)

  1. The Little Boy who Died from Eating all his Vegetables
  2. 25 New Places to Poke a Pencil
  3. Games to Play with Your New Microwave
  4. The Monster that Lives Under Your Bed: a Photographic Journey
  5. Bedtime Stalling Tactics
  6. 1,001 Must-have Toys
  7. 5 Thousand “Why” Questions to Ask your Parents
  8. Learn to Whine in 10 Lessons or Less
  9. How to Make Ordinary Household Items Explode
  10. Most Annoying Songs to Sing: Encore Edition


Clue Board Game

(by Megan Clark)

  • Large construction paper or poster board
  • Colored construction paper or scrapbook paper
  • Rulers
  • Pencils and markers
  • Card templates
  • Suspect, room, and weapon list template
  • Graph paper (optional)
Photograph of the finished craft of the Clue Board Game.

Photo and artwork by Megan Clark


Display the board game Clue. In advance, create a template or map of the major areas at your library. Back the template with sturdy construction paper or poster board. Give kids rulers and have them create a grid pattern of squares on the template, or provide them with large graph paper. Give each kid a stack of card templates for them to create their own suspect cards, weapon cards, and room cards.

Games and Activities

Live Game of Clue

(by Megan Clark)


Based on the board gameClue, kids go from room to room in the library searching for suspect, room, and weapon cards hidden throughout the library.


Create a mock newspaper article that reports that Marian the Librarian has been attacked at your library. She is recovering nicely, but cannot remember what the suspect looked like or what area of the library she was in when she was attacked.

Create wristbands out of long strips of colored construction paper in order to split the kids into teams. Decide on which areas or rooms of the library the kids will visit and what possible weapons were used in the attack. Examples could include a dictionary, a book cart, or a pencil. Also create the names of your suspects. You may want to create suspects with names that designate which area of the library they will be in. For example, the Fanny Fiction card would be hidden in the fiction section, or Donald Viper Defoe’s card would be hidden in the DVDs.

Create a small card for each suspect, weapon, and room you will using except the name of the suspect, weapon, and room that will be the final solution. Create enough sets of cards so that each team can collect one of each card. Or in other words, if you have 11 teams you would create 11 cards of each room, each weapon, and each suspect that you will be using. Also create a checklist for the teams that lists the specific cards the teams should be trying to collect.

On the day of the program hide the room, suspect, and weapon cards throughout the library. Hide them in places that are hard to see, but do not require the moving of books or furniture in order to find.

Divide the kids into teams by taping the colored wristbands around their wrists. Pass out the newspaper article to the kids about Marian’s attack and tell them that the cards they cannot find will be the room Marian was attacked in, the weapon she was attacked with, and the person who attacked her. If some teams have younger kids, send an older child or a teen volunteer to act as team captain.

Battle of the Books

(by Megan Clark)


This activity is ateam competition where kids identify the correct book after hearing a quote.


Choose 15-20 popular books (series work well) to use for the contest questions. From each book pull a short quote, no more than a few sentences long. You may want to print a list of the books you are using at the beginning of the summer in order to give the kids a chance to read the books before the battle.

Create a simple power point presentation with one quote on each slide, followed by a slide with the title and/or cover of the book. Print out thumbnails of the covers of the books you are using, making sure to have one set for each team.

Create a survey sheet with the titles of the books you are using, and places for kids to check if they have read the battle books, heard of the books, or know nothing about the books. If possible, obtain small prizes for the winning team members. In addition, having a small prize or treat for the team that demonstrates the most teamwork and sportsmanship behavior can be a plus.

On the day of the program place one set of book covers on each team’s table. Pass out the survey sheets to the kids. Divide the kids into teams, putting the kids who have read the most books on different teams. Explain the rules of the competition to the kids. Make sure to have a rule that prohibits heckling other teams.

Have a moderator read the first quote on the first slide. Give the teams a set amount of time to look at their book covers and decide which book they think the quote comes from. When the moderator counts to three, the team captain on each team is required to put the book their team has chosen in the air. Teams that do not will be disqualified. Each team that correctly identifies the book receives a point. At the end of the game, the team that has the most points is the winner.

Web-Based Activities

RIF Reading Planet

This excellent website has games and activities for kids to use in exploring words and stories.

Got a Clue Nametag

Download this PDF file of the Got a Clue Nametag, cut out the image, and use it as a nametag.

Page last modified: January 23, 2012