Anatomy of a Bookcart
To see into a man’s book cart is to see into his soul.
So we work around these things every day, we hoard them occasionally, and they never seem to be empty. Let’s dig in to the anatomy of a book cart. Here’s an example of one currently sitting in my office:
This isn’t the standard to-be-shelved cart, but more of a to-be-dealt-with cart.
1. Huge glob of that tacky putty.
I know this isn’t actually on the cart, but I felt it deserved comment. Formed from random bits of stray putty over the course of years, this could be the oldest single object in this library, nay…the world.
2. Recent donations.
Donations seem to be a touchy subject at times. We all receive books that scream “spring cleaning” louder than “goodness of my heart”, but a quality donation is always a welcome sight – we get a good number of those.
3. The Runaway Bunny.
I work in two schools serving lower elementary students and the stuffed animals are definitely out and about. Kids love them, so who am I to deny it? They add a welcoming element to the library.
4. My donations.
One of the perks of occasionally getting a book or two in the mail is that I can eventually pass them on to eager students at my schools.
5. New books.
Here are some books that were recently purchased for the library that we have to put the finishing touches on. As we know, processing (as I covered in this golden oldie post) takes more steps than one might think is humanly possible.
Wait – how did those get down there? This is how you know this cart was not tampered with before this picture was taken – my (shall we call them eccentric?) organizational skillz.
7. Mysterious books on the other side of the cart.
Look, just don’t turn the cart around. Don’t do it. Let the shadows do their work.
School librarians know their way around some plastic containers. Inside these unassuming tubs are webcams getting prepped for teacher checkout.
9. Books to bring to other schools.
Working at four schools, there is occasionally some reshuffling that takes place with books. This is why my car frequently takes on the characteristics of a rolling library, with books and the occasional overhead projector hanging out in the trunk.
10. New books, continued.
More of the new stuff.
11. Handsome book cart.
Take a moment to appreciate this cart. Solid steel with faux woodgrain panels on the sides (sadly, not visible), this is a cart that proudly kicks it old school.
What does your cart look like? Any photos out there? Post it and I’ll include it here.
Katie is up to the challenge:
Filed under: Articles
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 email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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