How Do You Get Your Books Back at the End of the Year?

What do you do? click edit and add your technique! :-)

My response (Mary Roepcke, Lime Kiln):

Several of the ideas that Gwyneth suggested I also use. There is nothing like personal contact to get those books back and the inter-grade competition is fun, for a few days anyway. One idea that works for me extremely well with 6th graders, pretty well with 7th graders, and somewhat ignored by 8th graders combines giving away coupons for free books at the book fair or free books at our Book Swap, whichever falls in May. I plan a daily drawing for $5.00 Book-Buck coupons (to be spent at the Book Fair on a book, not erasers or cute pencils) or a free book at the Book Swap. All students are automatically entered. I draw one name per grade per day and check the overdue list. If the "winner" has an overdue book, I put the name back and draw again. The kids know that no one can win if he/she has an overdue. Then the names are announced on the morning news. (The drawing is not live). This does help get some books back that we might have to beg for in another two weeks or so.

My response (Jan Kehrli, PVMS)

We start sending out overdue/llost book notices, mid May, to students and staff. This year I am using Memorial Day as the last due date for students books. After Memorial Day, I have students come to the Media Center during their lunches where we discuss the benefits of returning their items. Some students need the "lunch discussion" for more than a few days. 8th grade students are told that they will loose their EOY activities if they owe any books, textbooks, etc. Last year we lost less than 40 books.

My response (Ellen Levin, Hammond Middle School):

I really like some of the things Gwyneth does - especially going into the classes and talking to the kids individually and then following up. The 7th grade team leader in my school helps me A LOT by not giving out a permission slip for the end-of-the-year fun field trip to any students who have not met their media obligations - i.e., returned all of their books and/or paid for any book that is missing. This is EXTREMELY effective.

My Response (Gwyneth Jones - Murray Hill Middle School)

i recently got an email from a new media specialist asking:
"Hey Gwyneth. I was wondering how you handled getting overdue books back at the end of the year. Any ideas for rewards/incentives? Thanks."

my response:

hi sweetie!"
all books are due back by memorial day
then i start on the TV show announcing the numbers of each grade's overdue books... to start a bit of competition, i do that for a week or more - announcing all books are now overdue and please GET THEM IN or ms. jones will come looking for you! muwwaaaaa!
(this message is repeated in different ways also in conjunction with giving english teachers a list of kids who have overdue
books so they can nag them, too....)
then the last few weeks i go personally to each english class and i pull the kids out that still have overdue books and and i ask with mock fierceness like an interrogation:
where's the book? (if it's in the locker - go get it now!)
if it's at home - where is it at home? did you check under your bed? in the closet? bring it tomorrow!
do i need to call home?
(put on your list what the answer was H=home, C=call, T=tomorrow etc.)
next day, follow up....same questions...this usually brings in like half of the books at least.
after that...giving them some chances to bring it in....i have a handful left....THEN
i call EVERY kid's parent/guardian on the remaining list and ask for help getting the book back also telling the price in case they need to pay for it but i emphasise and always say "i'd rather have the book than the money"
in the end, i usually end up losing about 20- 30 books a year :-(
but that's my population/kids..i've made peace with that...some of them keep favorite books because they can't own them any other way....
oh and if a kid returns a book within a year, i give him/her the money back
i don't like to give prizes for getting books back, because that's what they're sposed to do anyway...though i have tried giving a prize to the first english class of each grade to have NO overdue books...but that hasn't made much of a difference sadly.....
it's a LOT of work, but i do like to get our books back.....
in the end, i re-order the books that don't come back if they're popular, not dupes or needed...
hope that helps!