Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Borrow Books

I hope this little girl returns her library books!

Another experience while subbing recently at a school library to share with you. This one was frustrating and sad...and just plain ticked me off! A 5th grade class came in. My directions were to take the class into the library classroom for a lesson. While I was in there, the library aid came in with the list of students who did not return books and so therefore they were unable to check out any books that day. She also pointed out that there were two students in the group (I will call them Jane and John here) who were not allowed to check out books at all because of lost books. I looked at the list which displayed the due dates for the books in question. The due date for John's book was sometime in 2010 and the due date for Jane's was 2009. This takes these two students back to 3rd and 2nd grades when the items were lost. So these two 5th graders have not been allowed to check out materials since then. I know this to be true because I remember John from last spring while subbing in the same library. The same "note" was made then about this "irresponsible" child-the same lost book from 2010.
Apparently there is no such thing as grace at this library. The elementary school years are important years when the love of reading is discovered and needs to be nurtured. I wonder how Jane and John feel about libraries and books. These impressions may last a life-time. Next year they will be moving into the middle school in this district. I've met the librarian there and cannot imagine her carrying the stigma of these children into the library setting there. I hope not! Can she undo the damage done? Will John and Jane ever be forgiven for lost books in 2nd and 3rd grades?