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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Self Check-out

Self check-out at the public library, at the grocery store: it works pretty well these days. So why not give it a try in your school library?

Kids feel a stronger sense of ownership when they scan a barcode and check the screen at each beep. Instead of handing over their book to someone else to take care of, they know they are responsible for their items.

Here is a photo of the lower grade check-out station. The computer is logged into Follett Destiny with a special user, "Self CO" that only allows simple transactions. Students are blocked if they have overdue materials or when they reach their 5 item limit. A librarian can override and continue check-out for the student.

Each class in first and second grade has a personally decorated shelf marker with name and a patron  barcode sticker. Once the books are checked out, the shelf marker goes back in the color-coded container.

Students have learned to use the date stamp without changing the date, even though it's tempting.

Our 3-5th grade students have their name and barcode on a separate page of the class book. Even though they know their library patron number by heart, scanning it instead of typing it prevents errors.

When a student is asked about an overdue book, we've noticed something new: instead of a blank stare and "I don't have that book," he or she is more likely to remember the transaction. Who knew that personal responsibility is such a pleasure to teach?


Librarian Tiff said...

Thank you so much about sharing this! I think I am ready to take the plunge and move to self-checkout. I just spoke with my IT guy this afternoon -- he's skeptical as always and thinks kids are going to type in random numbers and check out books to other students. I kindly asked him to create the account anyway like I asked, and I would deal with it :)

Jennifer said...

Good luck with it--you'll have more time to talk about books during check-out time!

Ms. Sauro said...

I've only ever done self-checkout since I became a librarian (13 years now!) and it's always been awesome. We just this year did away with the barcode scanning and started using the "HOMEROOM" method on Destiny. We load in all the kids pictures from a disc after picture day, and then when they choose their class from the dropdown menu, all their pictures are displayed. They click on themselves and then scan the books. We're still working on getting them to click "Reset" to bring it back to the start, but it's not that big a problem. I was happy to avoid all the barcode printing this year!

Lynn Sloan said...

I started self-checkout this year with our 5th graders. They love it! And I love it - I can chat with students as they are checking out! I use a dedicated notebook with their barcodes/name sorted by homeroom teacher. I tell them it is like Home Depot or Walmart - an adult has to be nearby "supervising" . Haven't had any issues.

I think I will add 4th grade next year though the 5th graders feel so privileged...