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On Tue, 7 Jun 1994, Megan McGuire wrote:

> book loss.  I figured that limiting students to two books at any given time
> would be okay since I wasn't planning on having scheduled check out times.  In

Yes, Megan, I understand the rule for 2 books at a time.  I, too, didn't
want to limit students when I first entered the library.  I had always
heard the mocking stories by non-librarians who made fun of the one who
would allow only one or two per person.  What I discovered was
(1) Students like to read many of the same types of books and we just
didn't have enough to go around if one checked them all out! (2) Middle
School students are quite forgetful.  Many times they themselves didn't
know how many books they had out and wound up losing one or two because
they had more than they could keep up with.  I finally limited numbers as
protection for students because they probably couldn't pay for lost books
repeatedly.  Frequently, parents would ask me to limit the child to one
book at a time for that reason.

In high school the problem isn't *quite* as great.  However, we did have
several students who had to pay for books every six weeks because they
would check out so many that they would forget what they had.  Another
problem at high school level is that we have a great deal of research
going on.  As I said, when one student would come in and get 10 books on
-- say -- the Spanish Inquisition, he/she very likely had every book on
the subject in the library.  If others had to do the same topic for
history class, they were up a creek.  I finally convinced teachers to let
me put those types of books on reserve so all could use them.

A lengthy way of saying that sometimes limits *are* necessary.

One way I avoided constant limits was to limit books at the beginning of
school explaining that I wanted to get to know the students better.   The
more they came back, the more often I got to see them!  Sure -- they
believed me ;-)  --- but they accepted the humor in the statement.  As
the teachers and I learned which ones were more responsible, we were
better able to advise the irresponsible ones against numerous checkouts
at one time.

I guess you'll just have to do what is best for your population.  As with
many decisions, this one is a judgement call.

Betty Hamilton, LRS             .----.
Brownfield High School LMC      |    |                Home:
701 Cub Drive, North        ____|*    ~~~~~~.         911 East Oak St.
Brownfield, Texas  79316    \               |         Brownfield, TX 79316
(806) 637-4523               \_/\        . /          (806) 637-4213
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