Overdue: What’s Your Excuse?

Seeing library books go out the door is a treat. They’re in the hands of readers on their way to success. Getting them back in the door is another matter.

There are many ways to remind students to return their books on time.

A Poster:  Tuesday is library day. Return your book.

Verbal reminders.

Written notices.

Letters home.

Last resort:  Bribes

In each of my library classes, there is at least one student who forgets to return his/her book. Some of the excuses are farfetched, but it’s always a treat to hear what comes out of the mouths of babes.

 There is one boy who is a habitual non-returner. He’s a great kid, but I think he needs a little organization in his life. Here is his latest reason for not returning his book. “The bus ride home subtracts me from remembering my library book.”  

Subtracts? Hmmm …

If I added up all the overdue fines this child has incurred and subtracted  the amount from the cost of the books he’s lost, maybe we’d come out even. Silly me. That will never happen because our library doesn’t collect fines. There is positive spin on this. The youngster must be reading those overdue books. He incorporated a new vocabulary word into his excuse, albeit incorrectly. We’ll work on that, too.

Overdue book? What’s your excuse?

Check out these books:

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book written and illustrated by Alexander Stadler (Harcourt Children’s Books, 2002)

Stella Louella’s Runaway Book written and illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2001)

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One Comment on “Overdue: What’s Your Excuse?”

  1. Rob Rubin Says:

    Perhaps if the fine for overdue books was a little more than $.05, people would care more. Just saying.


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