These days, in libraries around the country – whether they’re school, public, academic, or special libraries – you’ll see a shift away from all those laminate “Do not” signs (Do not eat, Do not talk, Do not have any fun) to guiding library patrons toward appropriate library behavior through humor and media. You may have seen some humorous memes in a local library like Grumpy Cat telling you that eating in the library is forbidden or the “Y U No guy” reminding you to be quiet or various other humorous library signs serving a variety of entertaining purposes, but if you’ve been battling your students to get your library books back and keep coming up frustrated, you may want to take a page from the Book Reaper (pun entirely necessary).
“I started doing the Book Reaper bit when I needed to get all the books back again — but the students were so forgetful… The staff as well as the students were getting a bit stressed with the end of the year testing. I thought this might add a little levity to the task. When the students see me walking down the corridor, they always remark, “It’s that time of year again!” I now put a reminder tag on the student’s backpack. They call it the “tag of shame.” It goes around any backpack loop and includes the students’ overdue info from Follett-Destiny on the reverse. It is all done with humor and laughter. My costume is made out of bed sheets from Walmart and a sewing pattern.”
For those of you feeling adventurous, you know who to contact for that sewing pattern – and if you think your school might not go for the whole Grim Reader effect you can always turn to the wealth of pre-made memes (Return all the library books!) to get your message across with a smile and nudge.