Where’s Waldo in the Library?

RF_waldo_1This fall I purchased the Where’s Waldo? book series for my library. They had been in the collection in the past, but must have gone missing before my tenure. I have strong and fond memories of the Where’s Waldo? books and admit that I used to have his location memorized on almost every page.

Since their addition to the collection they have been in constant circulation as this classic hidden picture book character finds a new audience in a new generation. Waldo has definitely not lost his appeal!

I decided Waldo needed his own library center. I went surfing and found decent pictures of Waldo that I printed, laminated and cut out. I put together a collection of Waldo, Odlaw, Wizard Whitebeard, Wilma, and Woof as well as three of their lost objects: binoculars, a golden key and a scroll.

I hid the objects on our our bookshelves around the library. Contest entry forms ask students to look for Waldo and crew. When they find a character or object they write down a call number from the shelf where that item is located and then turn completed slips in to a large fish bowl.

So far the students are enjoying the challenge. The younger students are simply looking for Waldo and the older ones are completing the entry slips. I anticipate that by the end of the month many of the students in grades 3, 4 and 5 will have completed the contest. They’ll look for Waldo on their first few library visits and then complete the entry slips later in the month.

Shhh…. Don’t tell where he’s hiding!




  1. I’m curious how this will work out. Last year, after I read Creepy Carrots to my students, we created creepy carrots and taped them around the library. The kids got so caught up in finding the creepy carrots that they stopped browsing for books and became OBSESSED with these carrots! CREEPY! : )

  2. i am curious too, about containing the excitement! i hid the shelf elf one year and it was the most distracting thing ever! nobody could focus or find books. they ran around like crazy kids! that being said, i would really love to try this idea with waldo!

  3. Amy and Shelly,

    The kids have been really great. I think it’s making a bit of a difference that I have 1st and 2nd graders for classes this week and the older kids are just floating in and out in small groups. The 2nd graders have had some mad dashes to try and find him and a bit of mobbing, but with other centers in place some of the kids aren’t even tempted to look for him. Since the first class was told about him, they’ve returned for independent checkout and have gotten their entry forms out of their library card pockets (we folded them in half and they go with their library bookmarks) and they’ve continued to write down call numbers. It’s been fantastic!

    What’s bad though is that I’ve forgotten where I hid the binoculars…

    • thanks! your comments make me a bit more brave! good luck with those binoculars! kids will find them, don’t worry!

  4. Hi! I was wondering if you would mind sharing this center? It sounds adorable!! I am a new librarian so I can use all the help I can get! ;)

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