Overdue library books–we’re all trying to get them back, right?
I don’t know about you, but my students prefer to ignore, crumple, leave behind, or make paper airplanes with the overdue notices that I prepare for them. In our Learning Librarians Facebook group, Brandi Baril shared her great idea for helping students take ownership of their overdue books! She has forms that STUDENTS complete before they go to their library centers. I believe that if our students invested their OWN time and effort in writing reminders, they might actually REMEMBER to bring the books back.
Here are Brandi’s forms, available for you to copy from my Google Drive by clicking here.
After you click, you will have to MAKE A COPY for your own Google Drive. Then you can edit it to include your own information. If you are already a member of our Learning Librarians Facebook group, you can find these two Word documents in our Files there, where Brandi originally shared them.
Thank you, Brandi, for sharing your great idea with us and for answering my questions about how you use your student overdue book forms!
What is your procedure for using these forms?
After a short mini-lesson, I have a printed list of books (patron current checkout/fines) that were not returned. If the students do not return their books they have to go pick up a “pink slip” to fill out inquiring about their books. They return to their table to fill it out, while others in the library are checking out. After they are finished, they go to their assigned centers.
What changes have you noticed after using these forms?
The students are not happy about filling these out, therefore, they are being more responsible with returning. I also have noticed that parents are paying for books more often.
How did you train students in this procedure? How long did it take them to get it?
I brought the document up on the SMARTBoard and walked each class through it. It took about 3-4 months for it to become routine. This year they know exactly what to expect when they do not return their books.
What grade levels do you use the form with?
Grades 1 -5. Every other week we fill them out for Kindergarten.
When do you use the long form and when do you use the short form?
I started with the long form, and now I use the shorter version because I want to save paper.
Is there anything else we should know about using these overdue forms?
Students often try to give me the form, so I try very hard to explain the purpose.
Parents often think they immediately have to pay for the book. When I explain to the students I tell them that this is just a reminder. If a book is LOST, they write that on their form.
Again, THANK YOU, Brandi Baril for sharing your idea and forms with us! Together, we’re all better! (And if you think these forms will help YOU out in your school library, feel free to leave some positive feedback for Brandi with a comment!)