Brandi J. Clark

Writer and Educator

Let’s Bring Library Pockets Back…Justin Timberlake Thinks So…


Justin says he’s Bringing Sexy Back, I think he means library pockets…right?

“I’m bring “pockets” back…yah!  Those are other books don’t know how to act…yah!”

Okay, that is probably not the true lyrics but the message is still clear, we need to bring library pockets back!

credit Stampington

credit Stampington

Let me explain.

Books have a history.

Recently I was reading with a student who discovered in an old book a library pocket and a stamped checkout card.  “What’s this?” he asked.

I explained that long ago in school libraries everyone signed out their books on cards.

“And the best part, was seeing who else took out the book. Sometimes it was me, but often I saw the names of older students that had taken the same journey that I did.”

That got me thinking. Does it have to be this way?

the best one

Drawing by B. Clark








Books have a history.

I remember each year flipping open the text book to find the “Textbook belongs to…” page.  Each year you would look to see who had the book before. Sometimes you would find traces of comments, notes and inappropriate drawings. My husband remembers looking in this science textbook to see among all other student names,  his mom’s name, written years before. What are the chances of that?

Books have a history.

In my family books are passed down between the grandchildren. Inscriptions like library pockets, adorn the inside front cover. I received a baby basket of gifts before my son was born. Written inside a book was a dedication to my unborn son, “Baby Clark”. Many years later the “book-gifter” became his grade four teacher. How neat is that?

Books are losing their history.

With bar-code scanning we  no longer know who else read the library copy of the Hunger Games. There is not a “public” record anymore.  We can only imagine the readers who came before us but does anyone even think that way anymore? How sad is that?

Books can get back some of their history.

I am thinking, what if teachers put library pockets and cards in the backs of books in the classroom? Classrooms are the only places left that do not have automated book circulation. The benefits of seeing who read a book before would increase motivation, similar to a “Heather’s Pick” at Chapter’s/Indigo. Students might recognize the names of siblings from years past. Students might begin to appreciate those readers who came before them.How amazing is that?

Books can have their history back.  

It’s a thought…

Until Next Time,

The Lit Maven of #YEG

About Brandi Clark