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Overdues 
6th-Aug-2008 06:31 pm
Surfing Santa
I work in a High School library and am the person in charge of dealing with overdues. At the moment I send lists to homeroom teachers, go to homerooms every Friday to physically collect items (most of the time they're in the kids lockers) and every term send letters home to parents. However, apparently according to my boss this isn't enough and I should be using my initiative more. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas of other ways I could go about getting items back. We can't charge or withhold anything like reports, according to my boss. I just thought I'd try and get some ideas, as google mainly brings up the charges idea.
Thanks in advance!

x-posted to libraries and library_grrls
Comments 
6th-Aug-2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
Your boss is nuts. That's showing a lot of initiative already. What suggestions does your *boss* have? Seriously, I'd ask your boss what else he or she would like for you to do. Call it "cooperative brainstorming."

*Why* can't you collect fines, anyway? We collect them at our elementary and middle and high school buildings. They'd accrue fines in the "real world" if they had overdues.

At my building, we give a list to Student Council when they're selling dance tickets. If a student owes us a book and/or owes us money, they can't buy a ticket. Even if it's only one 5-cent overdue charge. It gets things returned a little faster.

There's also the embarrassment factor. At the end of the school year, I'll get on the microphone at lunch and call students up to talk to me. Everyone knows it's about overdues and fines, though I don't specifically say it. Probably an invasion of privacy of patron records, but I don't care. They're kids. Few things work! :P

Do you allow checkouts if students have things overdue? I don't.

If students have to check out computers to use them, you could maybe not allow them to use your library computers to do stuff until their items are returned.
7th-Aug-2008 08:30 am (UTC)
Yeah that could be a good idea. Maybe sit down with her and brainstorm some ideas.

She says that the kids pay fees so they shouldn't have to pay fines....something like that anyway. If it were up to me we'd fine them and keep their report cards....but it's not.....

We do have a PA system (I think) but it's not actually allowed to be used. I have no idea why, it's stupid really......

No, we don't let them borrow anything else if they have overdues. The thing about banning them from using the library computers is a good idea :) I might suggest that....check the computer records when they come in and send them back to class if they have any overdues. Thanks!
7th-Aug-2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
She says that the kids pay fees so they shouldn't have to pay fines

Well, that's noble, but that's really dumb. That's like saying that since I paid for my car and insurance and licence and registration, I shouldn't have to pay for a ticket when I speed.

These are high school kids, right? They need to learn responsibility. Fines help you with that. There are consequences. Lack of fines is an incentive to get them to return items on time. They don't care if you come talk to them. They *do* care if you start charging them money. (At least, some do; there are always ones that don't care.)

I'd re-discuss the fines issue with your boss, since for most kids it shouldn't be a hardship. If your boss is worried about a hardship, you can maybe work out a program where kids with larger fines can work it off in the library by dusting, vacuuming, taking out recycling, and other such tasks.

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