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Be A Library Detective

Years ago, as a brand new librarian, I attended a librarian round table discussion. Each librarian was asked to share something that they had found success with in their own library. A very experienced librarian, who retired that very year, shared that she had her students earn library licenses. I fell in LOVE with the idea!! My second graders have completed a "Library Detective" unit each and every year since.

I always begin with an introductory PowerPoint Lesson that initiates a discussion about detectives, libraries, and licenses. "What do detectives do? What clues could we follow here in the library to locate resources? How do grown-ups get licenses?" After the discussion, I show them an example of the library detective license that they will be earning. They always get super excited to think that they will have their own picture on their very own license. I show them how I will add a barcode to the back of their licenses, and then they can use them to checkout books. They think that it's like magic!!

We talk about how, in the real world, people need to learn skills, practice them, and then take a test. If they pass their tests, then they will earn their license. That is exactly what we are going to do!! Then, we get right to work. I believe in the power of discovery, so I send students off to investigate and to complete "Rookie Cases."
I gave each of the kiddos a magnifying lens that I borrowed from my Science teachers and a clipboard. They were so cute as they set about their Rookie Cases. Here they are investigating the "upstairs" of a call number to see if they can find any patterns in the different sections of the library.

Throughout the unit, my second graders investigate both the upstairs and downstairs of call number, the alphabetical order of the fiction sections, and the Dewey Decimal system in the nonfiction section. By the time that the kiddos take their tests, they are well-versed in library organization. They pass those tests with flying colors!!

If you are interested in having your own library media center invaded with library detectives, head on over to my TpT Store. If you download the FREE preview of the product, you will have ALL of my unit notes, examples, and explanations. Yup. For FREE. You could easily adapt the concept for your own library. Give it a go!! Your kids will love you for it.

Happy Hunting Friends!!