A Tour of Library Tours!

We present a tour of tours, or more accurately a stealing all of the ideas! Lindsey and I have both taken up new job posts within the last little while and I have found myself thrown into a couple tours unawares. What did I do? I turned to the Twitter-Sphere and resident Tour Gurus (which sounds cooler when said in Canadian) Sara Bryce and Marge Loch-Wouters and their awesome coworkers at La Crosse Public Library! I have learned so much from colleagues near and far I thought it high time to share. And by share, again I mean pool all the internet genius.

May I first recommend a “tour” label search of Sara’s blog? It is so cool to read about how much work they have put into tours  Field Trip Adventures! Some of the big ticket things I have learned and incorporated into my library visits are:

  • Asking kids (no matter how young!) who owns the library and letting them know they do!
  • Showing damaged materials as a way to talk about sharing, taking turns and being respectful with library stuff.
  • Setting up stations at exciting/important spots around the library signaled by visual cues or even stickers. Eep, such fun!
  • Developing scripts not as a cop-out but as a way to create consistent, high quality tours around really cool themes no matter who is delivering them.

Next up you have to read Marge’s posts which focus more on the bigger picture stuff like identifying key messages you want your tour to target and the relationships La Crosse Public Library has cultivated with their schools.  Can I just say how amazing it would be to have Marge as a boss?! Now let’s head to LibrErin where Erin adapts Sara’s Dog’s Colorful Day tour for a daycare visit! LibrErin sang the ABC’s with her group to talk about how the books are arranged and made dog necklaces for the kidlets to collect stickers on!

Nikarella‘s post on tours was quick and simple but I really liked how she included books about library etiquette, which I always forget to talk about. I usually draw heavily from our Library Storytime board for songs and books all about, well, books and the library!

Now may be the time to ask if I have any ideas of my own. Yes, yes I do! I would love to create a tour and have the kids all pretend to be tourists, complete with photo ops which get emailed to their teacher/caregivers and a pretend tour bus! Please let me know if you’re ever done anything like this!

Okay, now questions: I would love to learn some quick ways to incorporate e-resources into the tour. Has anyone used apps as part of a tour? Also, I stumbled across this amazing school library tour created by Andy Plemmons at Barrow Media Center which uses QR Codes linked to Youtube videos. So cool!

That about does it for the Tour of Tours. Please comment below if I’ve missed an awesome post or idea and thanks again to all the fabulous folks out there doing such great work!

4 thoughts on “A Tour of Library Tours!

  1. You’ve done it again! You’ve given me resources right when I needed them!

    I’m currently in the middle of getting my MLIS degree and in my current class (Services and Programming for Youth), I need to gather some information on library tours. I’ve never done a tour before, so I was starting from scratch when I came to your site first! I already knew you ladies were awesome because I use your resources all the time for my preschool story time–including our “Hello, Friends” opening song that all my little friends now know and love!

    Thank you for everything you do!
    Kate D. (in San Diego)

  2. This is great! I’m looking for ideas for class visits where I am the person on a field trip to the school, to talk about Summer Reading Club.

    Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Katie, my thoughts about what to do on a school visit to talk about the Summer Reading Club have changed over the years. I wrote a blog post recently with my thoughts: https://jbrary.com/im-done-with-rules/
      Some fun things I like to do are play a book character guessing game, demo a STEM toy or game, or bring a magic bag/suitcase with objects related to SRC that the kids have to guess. They love anything with a surprise element.

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