Protecting Library Books from Destructive Toddlers

Protecting Library Books from Destructive Toddlers

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Carrie McBride
Aug 15, 2011

Q: I just began what I consider the overly ambitious project of home preschool for my not-yet-2-year-old twins. As such I have checked out lots and lots and lots of library books. We have steered clear of library books so far because while my boys love books they are 1.5 year olds and don't know their own power, have zero impulse control and no jobs from which to pay any fines from damaged books. So my question, dear people of the Internet, is there any system, best practice, why-didn't-I-think-of-that idea for organizing and protecting library books while allowing curious twin tornado toddlers to enjoy them? (continued...)

Sent by Jennifer

Currently I put all this week's topic in a bin and we only read them together unlike other books that belong to us. I'm afraid to even let them "read" them on their own whilst supervised because they can destroy so quickly...My goal to save money by doing preschool at home and using the library will quickly backfire if we find ourselves replacing damaged books. Thanks!

Editor: Having worked in the children's room at a public library I can tell you that they expect damage and wear-and-tear on children's books. Obviously it's preferred that even young patrons take care of their books and it's never too soon to teach kids good book habits, but you might be surprised how lenient the damaged book policy is for children at your library. I would suggest asking your children's librarian for advice; she or he might have an idea for you and can give you a sense of how strict or lenient they are with damaged book fines. Since your sons are still young, I'd suggest sticking to board books as much as you can. Many will be too babyish, but I've found plenty of picture books (like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel) in board book format. Readers, surely you have had this concern with library books too - any advice for Jennifer?

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