I just graduated with my MLIS and today was my first day as a new school librarian. I was taught in my coursework to NOT restrict the number of books students want to take out. However, every single librarian I have spoken to disagrees with this practice. The notes that I've found amongst both libraries that I'm taking over also state that every grade level has a maximum number of books they should be able to take out. There seems to be an established discomfort with students taking out more than three or four books max.
Can someone educate me as to why I would be taught one thing and find the practice to be so unanimously the opposite? I would love to know the reason because I need to decide whether or not to keep the current restrictions, or lift them.
All comments welcome! Thanks in advance...
In a perfect world students should be able to borrow as many books as they like, but it is not practical, especially if you don't have an assistant. That means any books borrowed you have to shelve yourself either during your planning time or after school. There is also the feeling that the more books students borrow the more they lose. It depends on the school. See if loss is a problem there.
Quite frankly, since this is your first year, I would suggest you go with what was already established. The rules were made for a reason, and it's what the students are used to. You can always change them as you go along or wait until next year. You can also add an extra book for the Christmas holidays (I did that myself for 4th and 5th grades). Get to know your schools and what works best for you. Every situation is different.
Good luck with the new school year!
Students can only be responsible for so much..homework, folders, textbooks, projects, reading logs, and add to that 4 or 5 library books? I think the utopian idea is that they should have the freedom to have as many books as they'd like..but the reality is that they simply aren't responsible enough. I don't know what grades you are servicing, but I service k-5. I allow kindergarten one book, first grade one book until aafter x-mas break, and the rest 2 books. You will find that at the end of the year, when YOU are responsible for keeping track of the books, where they have gone, and how much you've spent you'll be very glad that you've only lost 10 books instead of 100. Think about the number of ways that they can get damaged, and lost! Although we teach them and pound it into their little brains to be careful, kep them in a safe place etc, often times it's a miracle that they are returned at all. AND futhermore they tend to "trade" them. Meaning they can't even remember which ones they have borrowed after two, they go back onto the teacher's shelves or their own. By December you'll understand.
I agree, I also have TONS of books that were donated to the library, or dropped in my box, but are classroom books with no classroom teacher's name so it would be impossible to find who it belonged to, but are paperbacks and so not really worth the time or effort to process. These I put on a huge shelf behind the circ. desk and if a child needs to take more than 2 (to catch up on a.r., or already has out 2 for a project as mentioned) I let them borrow one. The books didn't cost me or the library anything so I don't mind them being lent out and lost. I do encourage them to bring them back...and often times they respect them as much as a library book because I tell them they are my "personal" books. I have even had a waiting list on books on my personal shelf! (I then make sure to order that one as soon as budget allows, for the shelf) Just an idea to keep you from feeling bad when you have to say.."Sorry you aready have out two"