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I have been using the one page of bar codes per classroom for the last
years. It has been fine. I can't imagine doing it any other way that
would be
as quick. I am in a K-5 school and have kids for 30 min. per week. I
about 20 min. reading and 10 for checkout.

Laura Manthey
Los Gatos, CA
Hi, I use a notebook because it is so much easier when
dealing with a whole class. Not only are all the names
right there, but it helps me learn first and last
names of my students. When they were on a card, I
really only scanned without focusing on names. Another
big advantage is I can quickly go down the page and
check to see who hasn't checked out a book. When
individuals come in to exchange books they have
finished, I just have to type in last name and I get
their barcode. We're a K - 4 building.

I was in an elementary school recently where the media specialist had
placed the young student's barcodes on plastic shelf markers purchased
from Demco or Highsmith.  They are strips about as long and wide as a
ruler. The students brought their shelf marker with them and used them
to mark the place where they had pulled books as they looked at them as
well as their check-out card.  This system was working very well for her
and the students were thrilled with it.
Sara Harris
Media Specialist
Daniell Middle School
(770) 528-6520
I really would not use cards for smaller children.  I have seen what
they do to their lunch cards in the lunch line!

We use the page method. We punch one hole in the top corner and put a
metal ring through it so it is easy to flip to the right class.  I used
to keep the classses in order by the teachers name but my sharp
associate rearranged them to the order that they came to the library so
all we have to do is flip to the next page when the nest class arrives.
Talk about a handy tip. Anyway it's very quick and easy.  We laminate
the pages so they wear better and if a new student moves in we just
write their number at the bottom of the page while we are in the process
of getting a new page printed and laminated.  Works very well for us.

Hope this helps.

Pati Daisy, Library Media Specialist
Southern Cal Comm. School
709 W. Main
Lake City, IA  51449

I use an oaktag sheet to list my patron barcodes by class.  I only have
children for 30 minutes and do not want to waste time with the cards.
just use the sheet at the computer and it works well for us.

I'm in a K-3 school with Follett's CircPlus.  Although I didn't set our

system up here, I continue to use it because it's good.  I have every
student's barcode on a rolodex card.  I have a rolodex file box for
grade level and within each box, the teacher's names are arranged in
alphabetical order.  Behind the teacher's names, the student's cards
arranged in alpha order.  I know this takes up more space than a
but I like it because when a student leaves, I can just pull his/her
out and put it in the back of my file.  If the student then returns
ours often do) I can pull it back out and put it into the right
classroom--because often that's different than the one they were
in.  If you have a notebook, it makes it harder to add/remove names of

students.  Also, this method allow me to send those cards up to the
elementary school with the students when they graduate from here and
codes can follow them all the way through school.  I would NOT
giving the cards to the children in the lower grades.  Sure, it will
some of them responsibility, but at this age, most of them will lose
Where's the good in that?  Then you have some little 6-year-old who
check out for maybe all year because he/she was too immature to keep up
a little library card.  Remember, our kids are in large groups on a
over-full schedule which makes staying organized extremely difficult
many.  Also, what's really going to happen with most classes is that
teacher will keep the cards and the student's won't be responsible
Hope this helps.  Good luck with your conversion.

Marian Royal
Parkview Elementary
Socorro, NM

Cards sound cool, but are there a lot of refiling and lost cards with
The laminated pages or notebook sounds cleaner, more controlled by
My students (grades 5-12, different from K-2!) just memorize their nos.
Also, we are a small place.
I did put barcodes on a Rolodex, but now I have them on a
spreadsheet-just the numbers not barcodes. That has worked for us.
Great luck.

Saranne L. Gans
Director of Library Services
Cistercian Prep School (348 boys, grades 5-12)
One Cistercian Rd.
Irving, TX 75039 (between Dallas and Ft. Worth)


We actually use a combination of the two.  We have "library cards" for
the kids (laminated 3x5s with a barcode and a label with student's
as well as having a duplicate set of barcodes on rolodex cards
by classroom.  The student cards are kept on a class chart made out of
card pockets laminated onto poster board.  At my prior school (with
flex checkout) the teacher kept the chart and posted it in her room.
That way the kids could pick up their own cards on the way to the
library.  This year I am at a school that has fixed class checkout
with flex as needed individual checkout.  I keep the charts and just
them out when the class comes in.  If a student comes in off class
checkout time, I can simply flip to them in the rolodex, scan the
barcode and check them out.

I can see that some would think this is duplication - why not just
them in a book?  But checkout seems faster to me when the kids are
handing you the cards right off the bat and you don't have to look
through something to find their number.  Even the kindergarteners seem
to have no problem with cards.  We occasionally lose a card but even
this is no problem since I can simply copy the rolodex card, cut out
barcode and make a new card.  It also allows the kids to take their
cards to the OPAC and check their own accounts to see if they have
overdue books, place their own holds, etc.  A lot of the kids had
numbers memorized last year (when you only had to remember part of the
number) but this year they have to enter the entire 14 digit barcode.
That's asking a lot without a card in hand.

At the end of the year, I clip the library card to the rolodex card
alphabetize them all.  That way in the fall, when they finally get
around to finalizing the class lists, I can quickly go through the
collection, pull both and put in appropriate class spots.

Ava Webster
Media Coordinator
Runyon Elementary
Littleton, CO
I have Follett and I print the entire class on one page -- it's the
report called Patron Barcode List. I put them in plastic sleeves and put
them in a notebook. Then, when a student withdraws or enters, I add them
to the system, print a new sheet for just that class, and I'm ready to
go again.
You COULD print two copies of the list -- one for the notebook and one
to cut apart, mount on cards and laminate. Then, when an entire class
came, you could easily use the notebook, but when students came
individually, they could use their card . . . just a suggestion...
I have great success in using a rolodex with the patrons barcode
We use student ID numbers, it stays with them through out our district.
students are in alphabetic order in their own room number.  The
comes to the check out desk, finds their room number, then finds their
I spend time with the kinders but by the middle of the year they can
their own name.

If a student moves to another room all you have to do is remove from
class room and add to the other, go to their name in the computer and
class room number.  When a new student arrives it is just as simple to
add a
rolodex card.  Our automation system prints out the barcode, number

This is successful for three reasons.  1) I'm not having to reprint
pages and 2) it gives students the responsibility of their card and
teaches student alphabetizing and they don't even realize it.

I have been using this system for 7 years now and still think it is a

Martha Pilegard, librarian
Sanger Academy Charter
Sanger, CA
I am in a K-5 elementary building.  We use the barcode and keep all the
cards in a rolodex organized by classes. So the students come up and
must tell us their last name if we don't know it and we look it up in
that class' section.  It works very well.  In the beginning of the year
it is a little slow with the new kindergarteners because they don't all
know their last names.  But it helps them learn it.

We use a combination.  For kindergarten, we supply bar codes and the
teachers make a "necklace" for each child from yarn and card stock
the bar code label.  The children who remember their books on library
day wear their necklaces to the library, so checkout is a breeze.

For the older grades, we laminate the bar codes for each class on a
sheet of card stock.  That makes it easy to pull out the sheet for
class when they come to the library to check out books.

Brenda Hahn, librarian
Dell Rapids Public School Library
Dell Rapids, SD 57022-1121
I'm in a k-4 building and we have both -individual cards and a page of
bar codes for each class. We put the cards out on the counter when the
whole class comes and we use the notebook when a child comes at another
time of the week. Both work well and the little ones love picking up
their cards. If you use cards just be sure to print only their first
name and first initial of their last name under the bar code label so
they can identify their own card easily. For kinders you could place a
different small sticker on each card  to make it easier for them,
although I don't do that any more. Also I only use their "goes by" name
and not their formal name on the card and bar code label.

Annamarie Lavieri, Librarian
Blakely School
Bainbridge Is., WA 98110


I use Follett & keep cards in a black notebook with name & barcode.
are some things to think about:
        I've used baseball card sheets & business card sheets. It's
difficult for my old scanner to read through both the plastic on the
sheet & on the label protector. The sheets by this time in the school
often have the 3-ring-binder holes torn; I replace them yearly. In 1
slot I put a slip of paper with the teacher's name, & I leave another
empty (for additional students. The cards are arranged alphabetically
first name.
        Before the end of the year kindergarteners can scan their own
books. Now that I have a better scanner, 1st graders & up can scan
own cards & books. I have Follett set to make different beeps if they
checked out their book vs if they were blocked.

Anne Colvin, Librarian
Mitchell Elementary School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I am in a grades 1 & 2 school.  I use cards and I don't really give
them out.
 I keep each class rubber-banded together with a laminated file card
sticks up with the class number or teacher's name on it.  They are kept
in a
file box, arranged by day of the week in the order in which they are
scheduled for library class.  When the students come to the desk to
out, I pull the appropriate card.  Sometimes the teacher helps by
handing out
the cards to the children on line, and sometimes the children find
their own
cards while they're waiting.  I don't like them floating around,
because if
the children are holding the cards while searching for books, the cards
lost.  Best wishes--
Martha Taylor, LMS
Oakside Elementary School
Peekskill, NY 10566
I had this same question when I was starting up our new automation
program, and I have found cards to be much better than the notebook for
student checkouts.  Here's what I have done/do currently:

I started out with a notebook, and I had such trouble finding the kids'
names on the page.  The little ones are so soft spoken, and half the
time they mumble, so hearing them was difficult.  My list was by class,
but it was ABC order by last name.  The students weren't very good at
saying their whole name, so it took an extra few seconds to ask them
again and locate their last name.  When a class forgets their barcodes,
I have to use the notebook, and I am frustrated by how much slower
checkout is.

What I do at the beginning of the year is print a barcode label for
each student.  I put it on the back of a fairly heavy duty bookmark, and
this is what they use.  It has their name, teacher's name, library
number, and barcode on it, PLUS, we use it as a shelf-marker while
browsing the shelves.

I have an open library, so students are constantly in and out all day
long (I have an assistant who checks out most of the books). All of the
teachers keep their bookmarks in their classroom; most of them put them
in a little basket so the kids can get theirs and bring it if they come
on their own, so it also serves as a hallpass.

The kindergarten are the only bookmarks that I keep in the library.
They're on a fixed schedule, and their teachers haven't wanted them to
have open access, so I just hand them out at check-out time.

When it's time for checkout, my assistant has printed up a list of who
still has books out, and I go by this as I hand out bookmarks.  It's a
great way to put names with faces during the first few weeks of school.

Wow, this is rather long! Sorry!!  Anyway, I would definitely go with
bookmarks/cards over the notebook system.

Janice Raspen
Park Ridge Elementary School
Stafford, Virginia

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