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Keeping track of library visitors can be challenging in a high school library. I worry that in the event of an emergency evacuation I won't have an accurate count of the students I am responsible for, since I am not operating with a class list as a classroom teacher and I'm not always at my desk to make sure everyone signs in. What type of tracking measures do you use or might you suggest?

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At our grades 9-12 library serving 1400 students, every student that comes in (who isn't with a class) signs in, whether they are joining us from study hall, lunch, or an unassigned period. With 40-50 visitors every period, that is the only way we can track who is using the library media center. The sign-in list is useful for attendance during fire drills, when we need to find a student, or if somebody comes checking to see if an individual was in the library during an earlier period. Now, if we can get our young scholars to write legibly...
How do you make sure they are signing in? Are they able to drop in at will or do they need a pass from a teacher?
Our circ desk is by the front door, so everyone who walks in signs in. We have large group study halls (150+ students), so they sign out of SH to come to the library--40 per period (x9 periods). We also welcome students who have late arrival/early dismissal, plus students who wish to join us during lunch periods. We probably see about 500 students a day. Now, do some rapscallions try to buck the system? Absolutely...but we deal with them as needed, being careful to follow all the tenets of the Geneva Convention (when possible).
I do what Eric Bateman does, but on a much smaller scale. I also have those students who are coming to the library from a class to have a pass from their teacher--these are bright colored laminated passes (8 per teacher). All they have to do is wave those at me as they come in. When I see them, I just wave them in. This saves time on the teachers part not having to write out a pass. I monitor the students while they are in the library, but leave it up to the teacher for how long they should be.


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