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How do you deal with your missing library books?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by magicjohnno, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. magicjohnno

    magicjohnno New commenter

    Hello,
    we are in the position where we have a wonderful secondary school library being used regularly by our students. One problem we have though is a number of students borrowing a book then 'losing it' or continually forgetting to bring it back in. Some are 60 days overdue, some are more than 500 days!

    We've written notes in planners to parents asking for them to search at home and sent paper reminders to the students and their tutors but are struggling to get the books returned. As you can imagine this means that there are lots of popular titles just sat in bedrooms somewhere not being read instead of sitting on our library shelves waiting to be borrowed!

    Rather than reinvent the wheel I'm hoping there might be some successful ideas already in place out there.

    Your thoughts would be very gratefully received!
     
  2. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Just do what public libraries do - issue fines.
     
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    I had the facility to screenshot missing books, and printed the screenshot on the back of the return or pay letters. Sometimes books did not look like their titles, and it did help in some cases.
    The main issue here for me is that childen are not reading regularly rather than that a particular book is missing.
    In order to get them back, though, it can be one strategy to remind students that other students would really like to read that book, and that it isn't fair to hog one at home. Teenage sense of fair play can be a motivator.
    Sometimes students don't bring them back because they have been defaced/ripped/water damaged etc and are too embarrassed to own up.
    Consider having a "one off" book amnesty if you do charge for books that are missing/damaged in case this is a barrier to them being returned.
    As letters are not always taken home/shared with parents, would a phone call home help?
    How many books are the students allowed to have out of the library at one time? Sometimes students lose one, but just keep changing the one that they have got. Suspending all borrowing if one book is out over a certain length of time can be useful.
    If a child has had books out for 500 days, with presumably repeated reminders to return or pay for replacement, and you have tried talking to/phoning the parents (to make sure that they are aware of the issue) then frankly it's time to call in the big guns. Get a list and hand the list to your DHT or HT. There are bigger problems in this child's life than a missing library book.
     
    sabrinakat likes this.

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