Should I Check Out Books Over the Holiday?

Updated: Dec 21, 2019

Dear Dr. Laura,

My principal approached me about the idea of letting students take books home over the Christmas break. This makes me so nervous. I am so worried about them losing books. My budget is so small and I’d never be able to replace them. What do you think?


Nervous Librarian

Hi, Nervous Librarian!

I actually think there is more than one way to approach this. What a wonderful opportunity you have been given by your principal. I recently heard Jennifer Lagarde mention that as she travels across America, she sees that librarians all have the same goals: to create readers and learners. But how each librarian accomplishes those goals is different. It’s obvious your principal is very student-centered and wants to help you meet your goals as a librarian. You and your principal will need to think about several things as you develop a plan.

Boy reading book

Identify the needs of your student population. Where do your students have access to books? We know that many families can not provide access to books in their homes. This could be due to poverty or numerous other reasons. Is your school library their only access to books? Is your neighborhood close to the public library? Do your families have access to transportation to get them to the public library? Do your students have an eBook collection they can access? Do your families have devices to get to your online collection?

If you determine that your school library is the primary source for reading materials, then you need to come up with a plan.

Writing a plan

In the future, you might look at various grant funds that would allow you to send your students home with free books to keep. There are a variety of grants you can explore. Look at this post for a link to a grant database.