Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Lost Library Books - Updated!

My kids are massive readers, which is fabulous. My oldest typically reads one book a day, and the other two go in spurts but also have a love of books. And of course there's me, who would rather read a good book than eat (but doing both at the same time is best).

So here's the problem: Our house has been overrun with library books. We have a system, in theory. We have a cube-shaped green basket that holds all our library books. I just counted and we've got 39 in there. The problem is that there should be 40. We're missing a book and it's due today.

I want my kids to be comfortable reading, so they're allowed to take a book to a different room and read. The problem is getting them to put the books back into the basket when they are finished. I've already had to pay for a lost book recently, and I don't want to have to pay for another.

So what's your opinion of this topic? If we don't find the book, should the kids have to pay for the lost book or should I just show grace and pay for it myself? It's a responsibility issue, but I don't want to discourage them from reading. Ideas?

**UPDATE** The library found the book on their shelves and credited our account. Lesson learned: Ask the library for a shelf search before killing yourself looking in every nook and cranny in the house. At least I didn't get angry at the kids -- I would have had to ask big-time forgiveness!


Edi said...

We too make good use of our public library - and sometimes have close to 100 books checked out (that includes books for the 2 kids and my dh and I).

When a book goes missing - the kids and I go on a hunt... There have only been a few times we could never come up with the item.

Depending on the cost of the book - you may just want to have your child pay for 1/2 or a couple of dollars - to teach responsibility.

One other thing to check...I have found a few times the library says we have a certain book out and then I can't find it at home and lo and behold it's found in the library. Sometimes the library accidentally shelves the book w/out checking it in. You might want to check the library shelf yourself.

Megan said...

The library sends chills up my spine. I have a real love/hate relationship with it. We've gone through spurts of 75+ books checked out at once too, but in the past year we've had to pay for two lost computer games (later recovered INSIDE the computer, but too late for the library...) and two books. All in one year.

We never were this bad in Colorado. I've never had a good system for them either, so I've avoided the library for a couple of months now. I'd rather hit the many used book sales in town and have the girls load up that way - if we're going to be paying for books, let's at least get to keep them.

But I know. They love the library and I should let them go back again. Maybe tomorrow...

Kristen said...

I don't have any advice about finding your lost book but you can buy yourself some time and renew the item. I can renew my library books online and it buys me three more weeks of searching!

My kids are young & don't really have their own money yet but to answer your second question, I would make the kids responsible somehow to help pay for the cost of the book. It may just be making them do a few extra chores around the house to pay off their "debt".

Chelsea said...

I just renewed the book (again), so I've got three more weeks to search. And I'll ask the library to do a shelf search -- they'll look for the book at every branch.
I know I've been charged for a lost book that I actually turned in once, but I think this book has fallen into the black hole of our house.

Clemntine said...

We established a reading nook where all library books are to be enjoyed. I'm not militant about it, and as long as the books are in the bag to be returned on Thursday (our library day), I don't sweat the kids on it. If a book goes missing, the person who checked out the book must pay the entire replacement cost. If they're short on cash, I will pay it but they are then my "bondservant", meaning they must work off their debt doing chores of my choosing. This also reinforces the "borrower is the slave of the lender" principle (Prov. 22:7)J

JoAnn said...

We have a shelve where all library books are to be placed when not in use. We haven't lost a book since they were very little. If my kids were to lose a book, they would be expected to pay for it out of their allowance or by working extra chores for me. They are 6 and 8. I never let them check out music or DVDs because our library only loans those out for 3 days and they come with a $2 per day late fee.

soupablog said...

thanks for comin' out and listenin'.
letting the kids work off the book with chores sounds like a good plan 2 me

Patty said...

Oh man I could never have that many books out at a time. Mostly because when my house is in its usual state, and not in the unpacking stages it is in right now, we look like a library. The joys of being a teacher, LOL the movers were not amused.