[Libs-Or] libraries in Title 1 schools, how to handle lost items

Debbie Pfeiffer debbiep at harneycountylibrary.org
Fri May 26 17:33:53 PDT 2017

Hi all,

Could those of you working in a Title 1 school/district tell me your policy
for handling lost items for students whose families find it hard to pay
replacement costs? Especially in cases with children who seem to lose every
book that goes home with them? Does anyone have a way that a student can
work off fines? Or does anyone start to further restrict checkouts or...?

We've automated our elementary and middle school libraries over the past
few years, so now have reliable records.  With their school library cards,
we limit students to 2 checkouts at a time, so they don't amass a large
amount of lost books/replacement costs since some students tend to lose
books a lot. On their school library cards, they don't accumulate fines,
only replacement fee for the book--the system considers the book "lost" and
triggers a replacement fee notice after 3 weeks of being overdue. (If a
student pays to replace the book and later finds it, the student gets

Especially now, as we're wrapping up the school year, we have a decent
amount of students who have been restricted for most of the year from
checking out books because of losing them and not being able to pay for a
replacement (or I should say parents/guardians unable or unwilling to pay).

We want to keep students checking out books and engaging in reading, but
it's hard to watch a newly processed, high demand book go out the door the
first time and know it's likely it won't come back. 

Obviously we can waive a replacement cost in extenuating circumstances,
but as a school library, we're also there to teach responsiblity with the

Thanks for any help.  You can reply to me off-list if you don't want to
tie up the list (unless others would like this info too).

--Debbie Pfeiffer
debbiep at harneycountylibrary.org
Debbie Pfeiffer
COOL Card project coordinator (school libraries)
Harney County Library/Slater Elem/Hines MS/ESD
debbiep at harneycountylibrary.org
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