A perfect day for a librarian would be to read books to a rapt audience and never have to put any books away, or straighten up after the kids, or shhh anyone, or discover a soggy, mildewed book in the book drop.

Librarians never have perfect days. We do all the dirty work so that we can enjoy our moments in the spotlight when we read to our students.

Part of the dirty work is cleaning and fixing books. I decided today to attempt to revive an uncirculated set of Berenstain Bears chapter books. They have never been checked out in the 4 years I’ve been at the school but they look well loved.


The rehab process with these books include replacing all of their AR labels – some of my collection is labeled differently and the kids refuse to understand they look different but are the same, re-evaluating how they are catalogued and replacing old barcodes.

I am blown away by how much old tape is layered on these books. One of my pet peeves is to stick new tape on top of old tape that has collected a bunch of grit and dirt. It just looks awful!

I’ve gone through this process with other series with success and so I am hoping to see them circ. Otherwise I’ll have to do the real dirty work: weeding and discarding!!

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2 thoughts on “The Dirty Work

  1. Great that you attempt to save worn out books. We weed much too often at my library (in my opinion) and after four years these would have been long gone. I’m surprised they’re not checked out more often, I think ours still go out. Another old series that remains very popular is Curious George.

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