It’s the beginning of the school year and librarians everywhere are providing orientation sessions that will teach students and staff library procedures. It’s also a great time to take a look at what didn’t work last year and make changes.
In our district, we are trying to encourage a more flexible approach to book circulation – especially at the elementary level. Although our elementary schools don’t have totally fixed schedules where students are dropped off at the library to cover a teacher’s conference period, many schools have a fixed checkout time for teachers to bring their whole class to the library each week for book exchange. It is difficult to change a paradigm, but this year several librarians are making an effort to do away with the once a week checkout and institute individual checkout for students at point of need.
With no clerical help in the library to man the circulation desk, this can feel like a daunting task, but I believe it can be done if we allow students and teachers to check out their own materials.
Think about implementing self-service in your library. I think you will be happy that you did!