100 Scope Notes
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‘I can’t wait to check it out. I have it at home!’

Pigeon Reads Pigeon

Here’s something that will be very familiar to any grown-up who’s ever spent some time in a public or school library, but nuts to those who haven’t: the kid who checks out a book they already have at home.

I see it all the time.

“I have this book at home!” a student will exclaim, holding up the book to me, as if to say “No more explanation necessary. My reasoning is straightforward and obvious. I am now going to check out this book from the school library because I already own a copy of this book.”

I always enjoy when this happens.

Do I check out a book I already own when I go to my public library? No. But I get the impulse. I stop and watch Ocean’s Eleven every damn time I happen upon it while flipping channels.

So while I sometimes reply with a “Maybe since you already have that book, you might want to try something new.” More often I just smile and let the student enjoy their moment of recognition.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Shannon Furman says:

    Yes! I see this frequently and find it endearing. The best I’ve ever heard though is this, “I’m checking out this book(happened to be one of the Harry Potter books) that I have at home because when my mom takes the other one away at night I can still read this one with my flashlight under the covers.” Hah!

  2. Many parents tell me they buy my books after reading them at the library. THANKS, Libraries! XO

  3. very good information sharing
    Thank you.