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Thank you to everyone who sent ideas.  I had asked what you do with students who 
are not checking out books during check out time.  The majority said that they have 
magazines or paperbacks available for those students to read.  Some provide puzzles 
and worksheets for these students.  Here are some other ideas. 
  I allow them to "save" one book.  Basically, they check out a book but 
don't take it out of the library, instead putting it on a special shelf 
with a small piece of paper with their name in it.  I keep it on a 
shelf for 24 hours (until the end of the following day) and if they bring 
in their forgotten book(s) they can take the saved book off the shelf 
and wander off with it, and since it's already checked out to them they 
don't need me or my clerk to do so.  I find that "saving" forestalls a 
lot of tears because they still have the opportunity to choose a book, 
plus they still get the experience, which is valuable.  Having the books 
checked out but still in the library saves me labor and means that if a 
kid does accidentally forget to leave the book I still have a record.

I have two small shelves, labeled "Today's Books" and "Yesterday's 
Books".  Every morning I check in "yesterday's" and move "today's" to the 
"yesterday" shelf.  It's low effort and really works for me.


  I've got a bunch of beat up paperbacks--things that have been withdrawn 
from the collection but aren't bad enought to throw away.  I keep them 
in a bookcase in the library classroom(I'm lucky enought to have one of 
those!)  They are all marked "Library Reading Room)--that's why my kids 
read when they can't check out.  I used to let them pull things off the 
shelves, but that just makes more work to re-shelve.  Besides, if they 
can't find anything good to read, maybe they'll remember to bring their 
books back next time!  BTW, I'm in a K-5 school. 

Terry Bynum

  I have those kids sit at a table near the magazines.  I also keep the
cart of books that need to be shelved close by.  They are allowed to
look at magazines or the recently returned books that need to be

Paula Naden - Library Media Specialist

  I don't have anything amazing that I do.  I tell the students tht it's
their job in library to find something to read, whether or not they can
borrow.  Read a magazine.  Read a book that you can put in the "save
box".  We save books overnight - until 11:00 a. m. the next morning.  
25% of the saved books are borrowed the following morning that's good.

Judy Lane Asher

  This is idea is neither unique or new so I sure you already do it, 
all students must search for books and do a check out. If you didn't 
your books then you may not take them home. They go into the "save" 
box. I 
have 5 "save" boxes marked Monday, Tuesday, etc. Each box is emptied 
the day 
before. i.e. Tuesday's box is emptied on the previous Monday afternoon 
school. When a student brings back library books he/she may come to the 
library to get books out of the save box. They put them in the box of 
regular library day. They are already checked out, so they just need to 
up to the library and get them. (Though sometimes the littles need help 
verifying which books are their's.) All in all the system works pretty 
The rules are simple. No one takes a book out of the box that he/she 
put in. Books must be checked out before going in box. Books are not 
left in 
the save box for more than a week. (And even if a student doesn't bring 
library books back he/she does participate in the selection process.)

Connie W. Welch, Librarian

   I used to not let kids check out more books if they had overdues.  But, 
realized that many of the students had just run out the door and forgot 
their books. Forgetting can happen to anyone. And I don't want to lose 
chance to hook a reader.  So I have changed my policy.  I now let kids 
forget their books that are due "today" to have one more book.  That 
way I 
know they will have something to read in case they have finished the 
they "forgot."  However, if the next week they come and they still 
have their books, they are done.  That looks like a pattern.  It has 
well for me.  The readers still have something to read, and the others 
have more than a total of three books.

Janet Perry, Prek-12 Librarian
  I started to put out books from our new books shelf on a reading table.  Mostly 
I'd put out the easier non-fiction books, to bring them to the attention of the 
younger students who don't generally go into the non-fiction section without help.  
Sometimes I'd put out an Everybody book that was funny, or caught my eye.  The rule 
was that people could check books out from the table if they wanted, but all books 
on that table were available for anyone who was looking for something to read.  

I still let students read the magazines - but I put a restriction on them.  
Students must check out a book *that* day, first.  Once they've found a book, and 
checked it out, they can read all the Sports Illustrated for Kids, Nickelodean, and 
American Girls that they want.  It's helped a great deal in most classes (some are 
still challenges).  More students are remembering to bring their books back (so 
they can get to the magazines), and many of those who aren't actually find 
themselves hurrying to the table to see what is on there of interest.  I've come 
across *just* enough sharing of books there to know that it's been positive for at 
least a good portion of my non-book-returners.

Good Luck!

-Liz Herman

  When I was in a 3-5 elementary school we used Circulation time to 
include a Character ed. activity like draw a picture of a character in a 
story that shows good character or getting to know you- students write 
something new about their classmates that they didn't know.  These 
activities often help to speed up the selection process which can really drag 
at times. Another thing I've done for even the 1-2 students is to 
display books that have been read to them either in library or by their 
teachers.  They often discuss the books which is wonderful to see.

  Janet L. McCoy, Library media specialist
  McAuliffe Elementary, Tulsa, OK




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