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It's my turn to weigh in on this topic.  I do not charge fines for overdue
books, nor do I intend to.  The main reason is because, if I charge fines, I
have to make ABSOLUTELY sure the records are kept correctly.  I am the only
staff member with two libraries to handle for grades PreK-12.  They are both
unlocked all day long.  I have no way of being sure when books are returned.
  I think the district is paying me way too much money to become an overdue
book clerk.  I have a lot more important things to do.  Of course there are
books that are out for a long, long time.  I do hold report cards which gets
some of them back.  I limit how many overdues are out to one student by not
letting them check out anymore until overdues are returned.  But I don't
worry about it otherwise. I also let the kids start with a clean slate every
fall, even though some kids seem to be building a personal library!  I have
said this about a lot of topics we've discussed here.  Pick your battles.
I'm a librarian, not a clerk.  I don't worry about "clerky" things my bosses
don't ask me about (statistics, etc.).  I also don't worry about
lost/overdue books.  Ultimately it is the taxpayers who have to pony up for
the irresponsibility of the patrons in the school. Don't think that I don't
care, because I do.  But, I try to "worry" about things I have control over,
and let the rest take care of themselves.

Janet Perry, Librarian
Cerro Gordo CUSD 100, Cerro Gordo, IL

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