Monday, June 10, 2013
Can You Say Overdue Process Made Easy?
When I began my first library position, my two adult library assistants would daily hand type names into our Apple IIe computer from hand written checkout cards. With our state-of-the-art technology, we would mail merge the names every week to produce library overdue notices. Times have changed much from those days to 1 librarian easily generating the overdue notices in Follett Destiny on any given day with just a few clicks. The process may have changed but this time consuming event is by far one of the most unpleasant rituals in my role as a school librarian.
This year I seemed to have mastered the process with a few twists added to help with gathering all our library books. Although my heart feels our students should be able to checkout books during the summer, the rational side of me understands the financial accountability of gathering all the library books. With students graduating to other schools and students moving over the summer the loss of library materials can be overwhelming. I prefer next year's budget be spent on new and exciting titles rather than replacing lost items.
Here's basically an outline of how I was able to manage 350 overdue books down to 6 overdue books in 3 weeks.
4. In the beginning of May I started calling students to the library with overdue books from 2nd semester. Again the face-to-face conversation would generally cut the monthly list down by 50%. My student aides were critical in delivery the notices.
7. The 3rd time students were called in I pulled out the lunch detention slips and requested that the student fill them out. It was amazing how filling out a simple form can bring an overdue list down to under 50 books. I would give the students until the next morning to either return the book or serve detention. In most cases the book was returned.