Browser cards are the key to students working independently and responsibly in the library throughout the year. Be sure to teach this Browser Card lesson before beginning circulation. Making browser cards will also buy you a week of start-up time, during which you can collect summer borrowing materials, wrap up the summer reading program, and confirm that your patron database is up to date and coded correctly according to homerooms. Making browser cards is the first lesson I teach every year, without fail!
To make a colorful, visually appealing browser card.
Kindergarten – 5
45 -60 minutes
Each student will complete a browser card to serve as both a library card and shelf marker throughout the school year.
Teach these main points in the introduction while giving instructions:
- Show the students a completed browser card. (See photo and also notes on how to prepare a sample).
- Review how we browse and treat the collection respectfully. Because students need to be able to check out and put books back into their correct shelf locations, a browser card is very helpful.
- Show a browser card and demonstrate how a browser card can help us use the library wisely. Emphasize that browser cards will be used when searching for books and also when checking out. Students should always bring their browser cards when visiting the library with their classes – it’s a key to unlocking the treasures found here!
- Browser cards are colorful and fill the space on the card. Fill one side of the card with designs, words, symbols, logos, or pictures. Be careful, you will have to use this card all year!
- Leave a bit of room for pasting the barcode on the card! It can fit in anywhere, just don’t color over it.
Brainstorm ideas for filling the card. Or, do the group activity for generating ideas (see “Notes” below).
Seat students at tables with the paper card, barcode, glue sticks, and pens/pencils/markers. Allow them to create a browser card for this year.
Share with a partner, then pass the cards to the teacher to be laminated. Collect the finished cards and make sure they are laminated and ready before the next visit.
- A few sample browser cards to show. (See photos.)
- Paper stock for browser cards, cut to approximately 27 cm (length) by 10 cm (width). (See photo.)
- Patron barcodes.
- Colored pencils, pens, markers. Also, if desired, magazines or newspapers and glue for a “collage” kind of card.
Browser cards are the key to students working independently and responsibly in the library throughout the year. Be sure to teach this Browser Card lesson before beginning circulation. The browser card activity will also buy you a week of start-up time during which you should collect summer borrowed materials, wrap up the summer reading program, and confirm that your patron database is up to date and coded correctly according to homerooms.
I typically use group routines to generate ideas with the kids before sitting them down with paper and pens. For example, ask the children to make a big circle. One person jumps, turns to the person on the left, and says the name of a favorite animal (food, holiday spot, game, fantasy location, sport, etc.) Go around the circle as quickly as you can. Next, instead of jumping with a quarter turn to the left, jump and raise both hands and shout out the answer to the next question. If you asked for a favorite food the first time, ask for a favorite animal in the second round. Remember to go quickly as possible. The idea is to incorporate movement with the thinking. Finally, in the last round of the game, as kids give their answers they can leave the circle and pick up a piece of card on their way to their work space. They will have plenty of ideas to use when making their cards.
Browser Cards, Self Check-Out, Browsing, Shelf Markers