I'll make a confession. Summer checkout makes me very nervous. I know all the arguments about the books sitting on the shelf for weeks isn't helping anyone and the books belong to our students. I know and I agree, but it still caused me to hold my breath when I thought about it. We have a high level of poverty in our school, which means a large number of transient students. Here one day, gone tomorrow or moving from mother's to father's to grandma's house and losing books along the way. Add to the that the inability to pay for those lost books and it just made me nervous. We have these problems when I see them regularly and hunt them down all year so I knew sumer check out was a risk. I have thought about summer hours, but our cleaning staff is usually in the building waxing floors and other big projects that can only be done with no students around so scheduled hours wasn't feasible. Transportation is another issue that makes me think I would not have a big turn out even if I were able to open. Excuses, excuses...
Well, finally a solution presented itself. First I saw a tweet from Beth Redford (@bethredford) about her summer checkout which led me to her post. Then I saw this post from @Mrsreaderpants and I decided to go for it.
I created a short permission slip that students would have to return to me with parent signature and I emailed this to our English teachers with instructions to share with readers, especially those that probably could not afford to satisfy their reading habit with book purchases. I also put in the stipulation that they could not owe me books or have a history of late or lost books. This is a small group that I usually know by name. Granted this was on the last full day of school, but I still had 5 students come to the library the next day with permission and big smiles on their faces. I had two more today and one that had already finished a few over the weekend and wanted to trade for more.
I'll admit I was actually glad that it was a small group because I want to see how this goes, build up my confidence and try again next year with more preplanning.
Thanks to Beth Redford and Mrs. Readerpants for inspiring me!
Here is a pic of one of my lovelies leaving with his stack of books. I played around with the picture in the new app Snapseed on my iPad, thus the grungy look to the photo.