Being a miracle worker in the Library

At the end of this week, I am being called a miracle worker by a particular faculty. Here is how I achieved that title…

I recently (12 weeks ago) learnt how to use the antiquated DOS- based system we have in my school library for managing the school library collection. I have found that the hands on and comprehensive nature of the workshop very empowering that I decided to tackle the large number of overdue items in our weekly loan report. You need to understand dear reader, that some items have been on our overdue report for years…

The first step was to use the overdue report to physically check the collection in case any overdue materials slipped back in without being returned properly- we found 3 overdue items this way- making progress!

The second step was to check to see if the students who had extremly overdue books were still enrolled at the school. In many cases, the student left years ago- so I had to artifically return the item, then mark it as missing in the status report. That dealt with a significant number of very overdue items (some items were more that 600 days overdue). Again- making progress!

The third step was to put the overdue slips into the roll call folders every 2 weeks. This helped to deal with any remaining students who had left the school as well as return a few items as well as a few enquiries-


How can I help you today?

I got this in roll call today

(taking slip) yes- do you have this textbook?

No, I returned it last year.

Are you sure?

Yes Miss

Why not have a really good look around at home especially under the things on the floor…

After 6 weeks of sending out slips every fornight, and once students had recieved 3 warnings- it was time to send out letters home to parents explaining how overdue the book was and how much it costs to replace. Most of those letters were for a textbook the Library manages on behalf of another faculty.

And now the miracle. After those letters went out, 6 very overdue textbooks came back into our returns chute in one day but to top it all off the same student came back with text book in hand…

Wow- you found it!

Yes Miss

Was it hiding under something on the floor?

Yes Miss

Thanks so much for bringing it back.

I took the pile of textbooks back to the faculty where they gave me the title of miracle worker since they have been trying for 2 terms to get the textbooks back and these textbooks are no longer in print.

I can’t wait to check the returns chute on Monday because I have a feeling that many of the students are cleaning their room this weekend when their parent’s saw how much the books cost to replace.

One thought on “Being a miracle worker in the Library

  • July 7, 2011 at 10:29 am

    When I joined the Bowl, the culture was not to chase up overdues and the kids had a standard excuse for lost books. I started asking for printouts and sent the slips home every week. As our kids come from big families, I also sent home the slips for older siblings who’d left the school. Lots came back and I’ve continued this for the last 6 years. Another strategy that got books coming back was me saying that after a certain amount of time I considered an overdue book to be a stolen book and did they want their name coming back up in the system as a book thief?

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