Library Cards

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I have always used library cards to help with book check out.  I’ve seen many other ways of doing check out – a binder with class barcodes printed out, using Destiny’s homeroom option and selecting students’ names, and library name tags with barcodes. I’ve tried a few different ways but library cards have always worked best for me. In the beginning of the year, passing out cards to each class also helps me learn names. I tend to pass out cards until I know names and kids know routines and then I start putting them in a basket for the kids to retrieve when they’re ready to check out.

I color code my library cards so they’re easy to organize.  It’s also helpful because I immediately know which grade a card belongs in if I find it somewhere in the library.  This isn’t as much an issue as I learn everyone’s name, grade, and class, but in the beginning of the year in a new school, it’s really helpful.   In the past I’ve used index cards and wrote names in the grade level colors.  This year, I got fancy and used index cards mounted on colored construction paper and then had the kids write their own names.  The white index cards gave the kids a place to decorate and personalize their cards and the cards are a little thicker and more durable.

I’ll admit, library cards can definitely be a pain to make – printing barcodes, cutting them out, and taping them on cards, writing names, laminating, and cutting out cards for 450 kids takes a while.  This year, I tried to make it as easy as possible and enlisted my older students to help assemble library cards for the younger kids at my Library Assistant Center.  They did all the taping of index cards to construction paper and barcodes to assembled cards:
Was each card perfectly centered and taped just the way I’d do it myself? Nope. But did the kids love helping out and feel like they were contributing to our library community? Absolutely.

Do you use library cards?  If you’re interested in trying them out, I know Cari has adapted her cards to be an incentive to bring back books this year.  Any other interesting adaptations to library cards out there?

13 Responses to “Library Cards”

  1. Ms. Drew

    I love this! I used library cards before and found they worked really well. I am planning to have a self checkout station next year and I think cards are the way to go. What about printing barcodes on Avery stickers instead of paper? Faster than tape, maybe.

    • mrslodge

      Oh Ms. Drew, you are brilliant! That would be 100 times easier!!!

  2. Ms. Drew

    : ) What do kids do for book exchanges outside of their library time? If a student comes in the morning, do they just find their class basket and get their card?

    • mrslodge

      I keep the cards in in a folder/magazine holder so they can get their card. I really only have 4th and 5th graders come down randomly to check out. I’ve showed the kids who come down a lot how to either find their account by typing in their name or by using their ID number, which they have memorized for other accounts they have.

  3. Kathy Judson

    I use the index cards laminated and put them out on a table when the class comes in, but when they come in at lunch they have to tell me their number. The kids don’t always like saying their number out loud for others to hear, so I would love to hear what others do to remedy this problem.

    • mrslodge

      My 3-5th graders are the only ones who ever come down to get books outside of library class. They know their numbers from other programs and type them in or type their first name and choose “find patron” (at least that’s what works in Destiny).

    • Maura

      When I was at a middle school I purchased a numeric key pad at Target for less then $15, and it was an amazing life saver for checking out books- kids just punched in their numbers on their own and scanned their books.

  4. Michele

    I have used library cards for years and love them. I use the Avery labels to print the bar codes and attach them to the card. I then have the child’s reading level written on the front of the card and highlight the book levels they can check out on the back of the card to help the student choose a book in their reading level. Teachers keep the cards in their classrooms because we have open library all day. Students come and go at all times of the day, even when I have class. They know to bring their card to the library with them for checkout.

  5. Gail

    I am in a K-4 building and I made library cards for each of my students using colored index cards and Avery labels then laminated. Each grade has a color and this year’s are: K-yellow, 1-purple, 2-green, 3-pink, and 4-blue. Students will use their card from this year through 4th grade. Next year, I will only need to make cards for Kindergarten (who will be blue) and new students. I keep the cards in a box by library day and then by teacher’s name (ex. A day – Mrs. Vaughn).

  6. Mechele

    I use laminated construction paper with avery lables that way all 22 classes have a different color easy to find and put back together

  7. Jan

    We use shelf-markers that are 4″ x 8.5″. They’re printed with age-appropriate clip art to color for 1st-3rd g., and graphic designs or blanks to decorate for 4th-6th g. On the back is an Avery label with their name, teacher, library number, and barcode. I laminate these and stand them on their sides filed by teacher. One student lays their class set on a counter while I’m reading. When it’s time to ‘shop’ they find their shelf-markers, find their books, and bring everything to the check-out desk. After reading the other ideas, I’m going to color code them too. If students are absent, their shelf-markers are left on the counter and will be blended with the next class. We’re always loosing shelf-markers!

  8. April

    I print the student barcodes on the Avery address labels and put them on a paint stick. The paint stick is also used as their shelf marker. I use this system for my 3rd and 4th graders. I painted the handle of the stick to indicate if it was 3rd grade (red) or 4th grade (black). I put a paint dot on the handle to indicate what day of the week the student has library. I store the paint sticks in an old card catalog. Each grade/day of the week has a drawer that is assigned to them. The students can find their shelf markers easily.

  9. Nancy

    Great Idea. Working with a high poverty group (85%) I have notes in my library binder with reminders to myself. All confidential. I have 1 page per class, I scan their name, then they scan their books, pretty simple…

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