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Here in California state code prohibits us from charging fines, although we can 
charge for damage or loss. However, I want to point out that no one thus far has 
mentioned any POSITIVE reinforcements for returning books in a timely manner.

Why not have a contest or drawing, etc. in the library that only students with all 
books current may enter?

Two examples that I have used successfully are:

Guess the number of  "fish" (really fish crackers) in the "tank" (a tall clear 
plastic tube) during the week of Read Across America (the fish were colored - a 
take off on "Red Fish Blue Fish" by Dr. Seuss). Students got an entry form on their 
library day IF THEY WERE CURRENT ON ALL THEIR BOOKS and a chance to guess. If they 
were not current, they forfeited their chance (unless sick or at band, etc.).

Guess the weight of the pumpkin (during October). 4th - 6th grade students who were 
current got a form with the phrase "The pumpkin weighs ___pounds and ___ ounces."

You could also do a surprise announcement on Fridays - draw a name from each home 
room (or each grade level) and check to see if they have all items current. If they 
do, a candy or bookmark awaits them at the library. If they don't, just announce 
the room number (don't embarrass them by name) and say someone in room X would have 
won, but had a late book. Be sure to do the announcements over the intercom.

After a while, kids realize that having things CURRENT is to their benefit. I also 
make sure that the teachers announce the contest well in advance and I post the 
information on the library door where everyone can read it at recess.  If you have 
TEACHERS who have late things, do something similar to get them to return items. I 
would love to hear other ideas along this line.

Joanne Ladewig, Library Media Technician (A.K.A. "Library Lady")
Lawrence Elementary, GGUSD Garden Grove, California

"We're Library Techs. We improvise, we adapt, we overcome! WE READ!"

" You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one 
- - - comments are my own and may not reflect those of my employer- - -

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