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Hi all,
My library is fully automated, and I still use signature cards.  I work =
in a middle school with approximately 1200 students.  I'm the only =
librarian.  I don't know all of the students by name, though I wish this =
was possible.  Our school does not issue ID cards.  So when a student =
comes in to borrow a book, I make them sign the signature card.
I find that this is extremely tedious.  First of all, I have to =
constantly remind the students to sign the cards.  Then when the books =
are returned I have to pull the cards and match it up.  It causes a real =
backup to shelving.
The thing is, the signature cards come in handy.  When a student tells =
me they've returned the book, I automatically look on the shelf - if I =
dont' find the book I look for a signature card. If I find the card, I =
show it to the student and tell them 99% of the time this means the book =
was not returned.  Then they go home or to the classroom and find the =
book for me.  I've found the card has proved to students they've taken =
out the book, which they swear up and down that they have not taken out. =
It has also proved to me that I checked out a book to the wrong student.
The chances of our school issuing ID cards is not realistic.  What =
alternatives have you used?  I would really like to get rid of this =
archaic system, being that my library is automated!
Esther Lewenstein
I.S. 278 Marine Park
1925 Stuart Street
Brooklyn, NY 11229
Fax. 718.998.7324
**The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of my =

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