Library Procedures

Spending time at the beginning of the year practicing library procedures with students is essential for a successful year. I love my 8th graders this time of year, because they’ve got the procedures down. They know exactly how our library functions and they’re leaders who model the procedures to new students.

Particularly with self check-out and return in place, I really have to drill those procedures with students so things run smoothly. It’s just me running the show in our library — no assistant with over 1000 students at our school — so self check-out is the only way that the library can stay open for circulation all day every day.

Every year, I like to schedule my 8th graders for the first library visits. I feel like it’s only fair that they have first dibs on checking out books (because once 1000 students come through, the shelves start looking a little bare). Instead of droning on about library procedures with my 8th graders this year, I had them help me put together a video to review procedures with 7th grade and introduce them to the new 6th graders.

I let the students break into groups of 3-5, giving each group a camera and a procedure to film. Some of the submissions were hilarious — I was highly entertained by what they submitted. The video and audio quality left something to be desired; it was a little hectic and loud with so many students working in the same space to record. I was pleased, though, with the final product:

I showed this video 33 times over the course of two weeks for back to school library visits. I only got a little tired of it. 🙂

My 6th graders came in this week for their second visit and they’re starting to get the hang of our procedures. I used this Kahoot to review with them. I will continue to review them and sound like a broken record (“Scan your ID first to check out”) until this library runs like a well-oiled machine.

6 thoughts on “Library Procedures

  1. Love the video! Great use of those 8th grade leadership skills! I tried to catch a glimpse of what device students were using to record their video clips, but did not see one. What did they use to record? What program did you use to publish the video? Imovie? Did you edit or did the students? What was your timeframe for students to complete/length of period? Thanks for your sights! I am a new librarian at a middle school and want to try out some new things. I really appreciate your website and your transparency.

    1. Thanks! The students used Flip video cameras and had about 15-20 minutes to record their procedure. Students turned in the cameras to me, and I saved and then edited the clips into the final video using iMovie.

  2. So cute! I’m planning on doing this at the end of this year for next year’s orientations. It’s a more concise (and engaging) way of explaining procedures to the freshmen during orientations. Great work!

  3. Hi,
    I was wondering how you set up self-check at your library. We are interested in trying it at our Prek-8th school. RIght now, I have the class names in a folder and I scan their name when they come up to check out a book. However, I am hesitant to let kids do this because I am worried someone will check books out under someone else’s name.

  4. Sorry, I should have mentioned that Pre-K- 5 are the only ones who check out books; 6th though 8th may come in, but do not have scheduled library time.

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