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I need some ideas on what to do about overdue books. I am an librarian for K-4. When the other students check out books, my overdues sit at a table and wait. It doesn't seem productive, but I do not want to reward them, some have had their books out more than four weeks. Then what happens after you have sent home mutiple notices? How will I get these books in? Deborah

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Comment by SudiHope on October 8, 2008 at 11:56am
I agree with Donna's work it off program. I have one in place as well, where I offer the kids $2.00 per hour (off their fines) for dusting, facing the shelves, wiping down tables, and sometimes for alphebetizing the cart. The other option I offer is for the children to replace the book. Admittedly, I've been given a few RIF books, but I just hate to refuse a child the opportunity to read a book.
Some librarians I've talked with also offer a "Read your fines away" option, which appeals to me.
Comment by Donna Forester on October 4, 2008 at 3:01pm
For our K-2 students, I have a designated table with a variety of picture books (6-8) where those students in a class who cannot select new books are sent. They are expected to read or look at those books while waiting for their class to finish. For older students, I direct them to the magazine back issues, ask them to choose one and sit down and read. I hate for any time to be wasted in the instructional day.
Every 8 weeks or so, I send a letter in the U.S. mail about those books that are more than a month overdue, in case they are just not reading everything in the weekly folder that is sent home. I only make phone calls at the end of the school year in an effort to resolve all outstanding library accounts before summer break.
Right now I am in a school where parents can afford to pay for lost materials, but my previous school was very different. At that school, I often went to the counselor first to see if they thought that paying would be a financial hardship for that particular family. Then I would let the student know that some payment (even if it was $2.00) should be made in a show of responsibility. Or, sometimes I would have the student "work" in the library (sharpening pencils, straightening the shelves, reading the fiction shelves, etc.) during one or two recesses if I thought the family could not afford to pay.

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