Classroom Library Checkout System Ideas? - ProTeacher Community


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Classroom Library Checkout System Ideas?
Old 06-14-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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I'm a first year second grade teacher and I would like to have some type of check-out system for my classroom library books. I have well over 1,000 books -- but right now I am working on leveling them, so this would be the time to set up some sort of check-out system.

I think they could handle some sort of independence in this area (my husband doesn't -- but he teaches high school and second graders seem like infants, so...)

Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!


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Old 06-14-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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All of my books have library pockets and library cards. They check them out like they would from the library. One book at a time and I keep the cards in the checkout basket. ( I have seen others have a pocket per child and their card goes in the pocket) I have fourth grade students and it works for me.
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Something Similar
Old 06-14-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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I have pockets with cards also. I have index cards with the kids numbers on them with a paper clip attached to each one. They are in a index card file box. I have 4 kids who are librarians for the class. (I switch two at a time so I leave two more experienced students with the new ones.)

The kids can check out a book by taking the book to a librarian and having them file the card in the index card box. They attach it with the paper clip to the numbered card for that student. When the student returns it, the librarian takes the book and puts the card back in it. They reshelf the book. I don't let anyone else from the class do it except the librarians. (it gets all messed up if I do!)

If I pick the right students, the system works really well. Sometimes kids beg to be the librarian, but they end up not doing a great job. This is one of those jobs you just really have to have "on top of it" type kids.

I love it and it works really well for me.

****I tried the pocket chart where the kids just put the card into their pocket. Kids would put them in the wrong pocket and not notice, then they wouldn't be responsible enough to admit they took out the book. They were not as accountable as with my new system.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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Honestly? I would skip it.

When I started teaching 2nd grade I did the whole library-pocket thing. It is time consuming for the kids, not always easy to manage and I still ended up not getting all of my books back at the end of the year.

After a couple of years I switched to an easier system where I put a library pocket for each child onto a bulletin board and when they took a book out the needed to write the title onto a card and slip it into their own pocket. Just by glancing at the board I could tell who still had books of mine. At the end of the year there were still a few books missing.

Over time I have realized it just isn't worth the hassle. The rule is that my books don't leave the classroom. I do guided reading and give them books and during independant reading conferences they bring their book box to me and we chat about the books they have selected from my library on their own to see if they are making good choices. It saves the kids A TON of time. I saves me A TON of hassle in trying to manage a checkout system and to be honest I don't feel like any more books go missing or get damaged each year.

So while it works for some people, I am in the camp of it not being worth the cost or the time to put it into place and to manage.
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I agree
Old 06-15-2007, 02:35 AM
 
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Hi,

I just am going to try to manage the checkout of my social studies books and all the books assigned for the reading series. I decided that my classroom books stay and that the children need to make good choices for their time at the school library. I also do not ask them to keep track of their home reading. I tell the parents that I assume as good parents that their children read a minimum of 20 minutes a night. I don't ask for logs because I HATE being lied to. We can all recall the many times the kids told us that their parents just signed it and they didn't really read. I give the kids must do homework and that is my nightly imposition. I remember a reading presenter talk about this topic and she said that it is so unnatural to log "recreational reading". I agree. I can only control so much and don't want to impose myself in the home.

Think of all the time and effort you spend in keeping track of books. Then think of what you and the kids could be doing with that time!

Connie


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How do you label your personal books?
Old 06-15-2007, 03:25 AM
 
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Just wondering if you stamp/label your personal collection of books (your name, etc.) and if so, what does the label/stamp say?
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:36 AM
 
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I ordered a free stamp from vistaprint.com (if you can handle the junk mail, they have great freebies. I got business cards, brochures for back to school night and magnets with my stamps) I stamp inside on the first page (usually the title page)

My stamp says

This book belongs to Ms. S's classroom
Please return if found.



That's it. I also write with a sharpie my last name on the front cover.
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:40 AM
 
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I'm working on this too -- we did a sign-out sheet one year. That stunk.

Another year my teaching partner tried to convince me to do the card thing only I couldnt get organized to do it.

Usually I just pray they come back and usually I only lose 1 or 2... and the kids give me more than that to start with. THe one year I lost a ton of Junie B Jones books. I started teaching primary and moved up... so those are sentimental. But the kids that took them probably read them now... (and think, heh I stole these from that teacher!)

This summer I'm working on the cards. I got pockets to glue in. I have a list typed of all my books. I'm printing labels from that list and sticking them on index cards to be my "library cards" . When they borrow a book the card goes in their pocket on the wall (hopefully this works. If not, i'll switch to the librarian idea).

I'm also labeling and leveling my library. I want it more accessible... and usuable for all my readers. So I'll be getting baskets and labeling all those books.... I don't want them to disappear after all that work! So.... that's my big project for the summer. We'll see how successful it is next year....
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Classroom ooks
Old 06-15-2007, 05:44 AM
 
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I am curious if those of you who do the classroom library thing send home a letter at the beginning of the year that parents have to sign. I am talking about a letter that states if the chld loses/damages the book, the parent is responsible for paying for a replacement. I do that when I pass out literature circle novels (20 copies of the same book that I purchased using personal money). I don't for regular class books, and even though students aren't allowed to take mine home, I realized a couple of my "darlings" might have snuck a few of them home.
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Good story
Old 06-15-2007, 06:29 AM
 
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At the beginning of my third year of teaching second grade I had a former student stop by my room (I know, not unusual). She was rather quiet and shy, which was very out of character for her. I asked the standard 'How was your summer, did you do anything fun...' type of questions and she answered them. I could tell that there was something else on her mind, so I asked her if there was anything else that she wanted to talk about. She removed a book from her backpack ('The Little Rabit Who Wanted Red Wings' - my favorite book when I was a kid) and told me that she had taken the book at the end of last year. I asked her why she took it and she told me that she loved the book because it reminded her of me. I nearly cried right then and there! I told her that it was wrong to take things from others, that that was really called stealing. She said she was really sorry that she had taken it. I asked her to promise that she would NEVER steal anything again, and she did. I then handed the book back to her and told her that if she had told me how much the book meant to her in the first place I would have given it to her. I told her that if she would take very good care of the book, she could have it for her own. She smiled and hugged me and promised again that she would never steal anything else.
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Old 06-15-2007, 07:20 AM
 
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Stephanie----that is teaching!
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Let it go!
Old 06-15-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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My most effective checkout system was when I moved into a grade level where the para helped the children write the name of their books in a folder that went home with the books. She then checked with them daily and made notes as to when those books were returned.

Now that I no longer have para time for that I just let the kids take books home! I know I lose books every year. I just hope they are read and reread, then read by siblings! At the end of the school year I offer a minute of recess for every book that is returned. Several show up that last week. Also, I usually have many books show up the next school year.

I use a sharpie to write my name on the book covers. That way it's easy for families to see that the book belongs back at school. Working at a school with low income families, I don't mind if several of my books find new homes each year.
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Keeping books organized
Old 06-15-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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I know the set up is a lot of work, but honestly, I love it. At the end of the year I know exactly which books are missing and who was the last person to have it. I have also found that the kids treat the books much better because they know that if they turn in the book destroyed, the librarians will come and let me know. There is very little managment on a daily basis for me.

As far as organizing them into the bins, I use stickers to make sure they return to the right bins. The bins have lables on them that organize them by author, series, and genre. I have SEVERAL that are marked Non Fiction and Fiction. This way I can direct a student to the non-fiction books with the "frog" stickers. That way they are picking books that are their level without them really knowing!

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Fiel box and index cards
Old 06-16-2007, 12:04 PM
 
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I have a 4 x 6 wooden file box that I decorated. Each child has an index card. When they borrow a book at the end of the day, I write the date and title on the card. Books that are taken home must be shown to me when returned. During DEAR in the morning, books may be returned. I have little red plastic clips (They were being discarded at my town library.) that I put on a card when the student has a book checked out. You could also put a paper clip on the top of the card. When the book is returned, I write the date and remove the clip. If a book is lost, the child is asked to replace it with someone approriate for school. I write down the title of their book. If they return mine, they make take theirs back.

As far as organizing the books, I tried the bins. Books has a numbered sticker which matched the bins. The bins also had a label with the genre. I did this for less than 2 years. I have 2 books carts and 4 bookcases and ran out of room. The kids didn't look to put the books back in the right spot. Bools about space would be with books about dinosaurs. I went back to the old-fashioned method. Now I have space for more books.
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simplicity is best
Old 06-16-2007, 02:06 PM
 
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I teach 2nd grade, as well, and I don't really use a check-out system unless they are going to take the book home. In class, they keep a supply of books in their personal book boxes. If they take a book home, they/I simply write the book and their name on a spot on the board and then they show it to me or a helper when they come in in the morning and I erase their name.
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I agree... simple is best.
Old 06-16-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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Books kept at school are stored in individual book boxes. We practice how to return books to the right basket or put in the "I don't know where this book goes" basket if unsure. I've used paint stirrers and large "library" cards to mark spots in baskets but found this didn't help much.

My kids are required (by me) to take a book home each night. They slip their take home books in a pocket of large pocket chart (27 spots with a place to label each slot). They get their books from the chart at the end of each day. In the morning, they return the book to their slot. If they forget their book, they turn the label on their pocket so their number doesn't show. I can tell at a glance who still has a book at home. These kids aren't allowed to take home another book till the first one is returned. This system is simple yet lets the kids know they are repsonsible to return take home books. Each child and family signs the attached contract after we establish the expectations of taking books home. We celebrate the privilege! Like other posters, I figure "lost" books are hopefully bringing the joy of reading to others.

I try to write my name on the top page edges of a closed book. This is impossible to erase and makes it easy to tell who the book belongs to. This only works with longer books. Otherwise I stamp my name inside.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Take Home Book Contract.pdf (22.3 KB, 498 views)
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Great Ideas
Old 06-16-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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I have gotten a lot of ideas here -- thanks! I think what I have come up with is a combo of a lot of your classrooms! I do agree: simplicity is best. I was trying to make it too complicated. I do believe that the children need to know responsibility, but at the same time I don't need to make so much extra work!

Thanks again!
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Old 06-16-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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I also do the card and pocket system. For the past two years I have just had the kids write their name and date on the card and stick it in a pocket assigned to them. But I am tired of kids finding books without cards in them, or cards without books, etc. I have found that several of my books are now missing as well.

Sooooo, thank you so much to 3grteacher! I love that you have a few kids hang on to a file system and they actually check them out as a real librarian would. At least I could have a level of accountability that would be followed much better. Thank you so much!
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library clothespins
Old 06-16-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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EAch child in my class has a number ( for my files, lining up, etc..) They each have a clothespin with their number on it. When they take a book out of a bin, they put their clothespin on the bin. When they return the book, they just need to find their clothespin to know where to return the book.this is not foolproof, but works well and is easy om me.You could put their names on the pins if you like.
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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Quote:
EAch child in my class has a number ( for my files, lining up, etc..) They each have a clothespin with their number on it. When they take a book out of a bin, they put their clothespin on the bin. When they return the book, they just need to find their clothespin to know where to return the book.this is not foolproof, but works well and is easy om me.You could put their names on the pins if you like.
Also, a great idea to keep the bins organized. I had a lot of lazies this year and quite a few out of place books. My librarian would have had to go through them once a week to keep up with the laziness of putting them back in the right spot. I'll have to think about doing this along with the cards. Thanks!
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Modifying my checkout system
Old 06-17-2007, 06:40 AM
 
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I have enjoyed reading all the posts on this thread and even though I reorganized my book shelves this summer I realize I want to make another modification. I like the paper clipping the checkout card to the number card. (thank you 3grteacher) I want to also add either the stickers to the books and basket/shelves like 3grteacher uses or use the clothespins like fiona1 uses.

At the Fourth grade level I expect my students to be responsible about checking out books. Some classes do better than others. After last year, I realized I needed to make changes to make less work and a better organized system. I enjoy taking the time to 'tweak' what does and doesn't work. (Then what might work for one class might not for another )
I also want to think about adding the librarians for the class checkout/return.
Thank you everyone for the many ideas!
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I just stopped worrying.
Old 06-17-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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This year I plan to let students take books home as part of our Reader's Workshop. I have never had an aide and can't imagine having the time to set-up and maintain a check-out system. The one thing that stops me from worrying is a quote I heard from a workshop I attended this spring......

"It is better to lose literature to children than it is to lose children to illiteracy.

I know we all spend so much of our own money building these libraries but doesn't that just say it all?!!
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Old 06-17-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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My students also have numbers. I really like the idea of clothespins. That would really help getting the books back where they belong, which is a bigger problem for me than missing books. Love that quote!
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Checkout Binder
Old 06-18-2007, 10:22 AM
 
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I'm currently a 4th grade teacher and my students maintain a binder to keep track of my library books. All books are listed alphabetically by author. I created a spread sheet in excel so that there are 5 blank boxes after the title and author. As students borrow a book they sign their name in one of the boxes. When it is turned back into my book box the class librarian crosses off their name and reshelves the book. Since it's an excel spreadsheet I can easily add new books to the list or reprint pages as necessary. I only lost 1 book this year and I think it may have been my own child that checked it out last! This system has worked for me for the last 4 years with very little effort on my part.
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Love The Ideas :)
Old 06-22-2007, 06:17 AM
 
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All of your ideas are so great. I have been reading all the posts I can from this site, since this will be my first year teaching. I love the librarian idea, the stickers for organizing, and the checkout binder. All of you are so inspirational

Thanks

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Thanks
Old 06-23-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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Thanks so much to everyone for their ideas. I am a fourth year teacher and have struggled with a library checkout system since I first started. My library is huge now and I know that I have lost some books a long the way. I love the idea of a reading contract and the clothespins on the bin. Thanks again for all the great ideas!~!!!!!
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classroom library
Old 10-07-2007, 09:29 AM
 
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thanks for your post. i'm a first year teacher, and needless to say -a little overwhelmed. your post was insightful and made me not feel bad for not having a "system".

thanks
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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Google "Classroom Library Accounting System"
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Classroom library management
Old 04-30-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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Great ideas here. I bought Delicious Library for $40.00. It is an amazing online library (for macs only, I think.) I have entered all my books (over i,000.) I check them out to students right within the program so I know what anyone has at any time. It works just like at the library. I too write my name across the top of the closed book. Students are required to keep the book in a large Baggie with their name on it unless they are reading it. I haven't lost any books yet this year!
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Can you explain how to do this in Delicious?
Old 04-30-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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I just found out about this program and I would love a step by step on how to use a check out system with my kids.
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