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Thanks for all the responses!  I think we'll be able to choose a great,
inexpensive new barcode holder from these ideas.  You're a great source
of ideas!!
Deborah Clark
Media Associate
Okoboji Elementary School
Milford, IA 51351

At our K-5 school all students have a library card
made out of index cards.

I use neon colored index cards for all types of
things. You could easily put the barcode on them and
cover with tape or laminate. Color coordinate with
classrooms or grades if you want to. Easily replaced
if too heavily damaged and I bet Staples has them. If
not Staples, then the library supply companies have
then available.

How about using CD's?  We all know where we can get a ton of them free.
Why not put them to good use?  You could print labels to cover the
"company logos".  With the hole, you could have students wear them
around their necks.

How about no-longer-needed CDs They could have a cord run through them,
to hang up or store as a group, or be worn around the neck...

We use paint sticks donated by Home Depot.  They take a little while to
make, but can be reused each year.  After the initial time spent, we
only make them for new students and the kindergartners.  We attach the
bar code and write the name in permanent marker.  All classes use them.
This serves as a hall pass, shelf marker, and for fast check out. Works
great for us.

How about free paint sticks that you get at Home Depot? They gladly give
as many as you want.  I had a parent paint mine our school color with
the mascot on it.  Couldn't you put the student id on it with a barcode
cover...then next year shuffle/regroup the sticks for class
configuration.  I have a paint stick on every shelf in the library that
the kids use as shelf markers.  For the primary area they are given one
to carry around.  I teach them from the VERY beginning that they are not
swords...usually one kid tries it.  I take the stick away, and they
can't check out a book.   I have no problems from then on.  Hope this

We use paint sticks from a local hardware store. We have also gotten
them from Home Depot in the past. We have the students paint their
sticks when they start school here and then we attach their barcode. The
great thing about using paint sticks is that they double as browsing
sticks so that as kids learn how to replace books on the shelves, they
get into the proper place.=20

When in an elementary setting, I used paint stirrers that were spray
painted in bright colors. Many times paint stores and hardware stores
will donate them.

I use paint stirrers that I bought VERY cheaply at Home Depot. I printed
barcodes onto labels and stuck them on.  The students use them as marker
sticks when they are looking for books in the library.  When they come
to check out we just scan them, them scan the book.  Next year I hope to
be able to purchase stirrers directly from the distributor so that they
don't have the logo of the hardware store on them.  It works very well.

Rulers are really great because they can double as shelf markers!  Of
course, we can't afford that even though I think it would be very nice!=20
We have to make due with what we have on hand pretty much.  We put them
on old card catalog cards that we are trying to use up and they already
have a hole punched in the middle so you can string them!  Or we use
unlined note cards.  Some schools use folders because this way a student
can keep his or her level to bring with them inside the folder. =20

I use the opportunity to teach k-1 grades (an older students)
alphabetizing by having their names and barcodes in a rolodex by
classroom.  It only takes a few trips to the media center for students
to begin to understand how to find their name.  This is also a lead into
Dewey and how books are shelved in the media center and other libraries.
This also leads to dictionary and encyclopedia lessons.

I have used the rolodex for 8 years and it has been wonderful.  Students
find their own name, no lost id cards, easy to add new students and
change classroom. =20

We have ours on their shelf markers.  It's colored tagboard 3" x 14".
Students write their name and decorate it and then we laminate them.  In

our case, they stay in the library, but they certainly could live in the

classroom as well.  Then when the student arrives in the library, they
their pass, their barcode, and a shelf-marker to mark where they've
a book.  We are a small rural school, so we just have 2 sections of each

grade.  We can have a different color of tagboard for each class which=20
really works out well.

Why not keep everybody's barcodes in the binder?  That's what we did.
They would just have to tell us their last name and then we scanned
their class for their barcode or just type in their last name and picked
it up that way.  Didn't teach them their number until they were older.

I use nameplates (the kind that the teachers attach to their desks).=20
The barcode is on the back, and then we print their names on the front.
We laminate these and the students use them for shelf markers.  This has
worked great for us and it's fairly inexpensive.=20

At the beginning of the year, I cut the large oak tag sheets into about=20
4 by 17 (but could be 12) inch strips.  The kids decorate them with=20
stamps & stickers and write their names.  On the other side I add the=20
barcode and maybe the child's picture if the teacher has an extra or=20
LifeTouch Photos (our school photographers) also imports them into the=20
patron record for Winnebago.  I laminate the strips and the teacher is=20
in charge of bringing them to library for class.  Often the student=20
will bring it with him/her if they come during the day.

The kids love to decorate and personalize the strips and the pictures=20
help the Kinders find their strip and learn their names.

You know what I do with ALL patron barcodes when I have entered the
student's name into the system?  I put them on a small patron barcode
card and put them in with the other patron cards and file them away in
my desk never to be touched again until the end of the year when I
alphabetize each class to draw from for next year when I make up the new
homerooms.  I don't need them at all during the year....seriously.
Every time a child checks out, I just enter the child's last name and
then first name if biggy!  That way I don't have to keep
up with a big old bulky binder on my desk top.  It was always getting in
my way until I realized I could ask for and type in their last names
just as fast as asking for it and hunting up their barcode on their
class sheet of barcodes.  I works great for me!

Plus, why do elementary kids need a pass to come to the library?  Just
having their library book in hand is enough pass for us.....and the
average eager-to-please elementary child doesn't just walk the halls
without verbal permission anyway.

Our barcodes are attached to file folders which also contain the child's
reading logs, STAR test results, and info about grade level AR goals.
The children use the folder as a shelf marker when choosing a book. It
works for us - Kindergarten-Fifth Grade.

The librarian where I did my internship last year, made cards out of
heavy cardstock and laminated them with extra thick film (she had to
have this done at a local office supply store).  The cards were large
enough so that the students could use them as the shelf markers as well.
They seemed to work well.  Pretty plain but ...  I think that it was the
heavy duty laminating that did the trick!

We stick ours on pocket folders, a different color for each grade.  We
cover the barcodes with a Demco label and also include a sticker with
the teacher's name.  On the inside of the folder is stapled a reading
record for the student to record his/her books read.  I'd be interested
in seeing what you hear from other people. For our kindergartners, we
use the Ellison to make small bears (school mascot) and apply the
barcode, laminate, punch hole, and add yarn for them to wear around the

All of our kids have library cards that they keep in their rooms (Grades
The cards are rolodex cards that we put the barcodes on and laminate at
the start of the year.  Then we punch a hole and put vinyl craft lacing
for a necklace.  Each kid has to have that when they come to the LMC.
They then use that for self-checkout in all grades.  Works well for us.
Hope that helps.

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