Library Ramblings: Holiday Borrowing

Poster created thanks to photo by Clem Onojeghuo from Pexels.

This is a topic I see pop up in school librarian discussions every time summer stars to roll around. To lend or not to lend? That is a question many librarians wrestle with. The long summer holiday period offers both a wonderful time for relaxed, lengthy reading, but also threatens lost and damaged books as families travel, move house or spend long days at the beach. So, do the rewards outweigh the risk?

I am a fan of holiday borrowing. I would much rather see books in the hands of readers than gathering dust on the shelves (and every librarian knows just how much dust can collect over the holiday period). However, aside from the risk of lost or damaged resources, holiday borrowing can impact on the regular end-of-year overdue and lost book processes, and I’ve found that some parents prefer for their children not to take books home over the holidays (replacement fees can add unnecessary strain to the budget), while other students are happy to turn to their local libraries for holiday reading.

Photo thanks to Negative Space from Pexels.

Currently, our school library allows borrowing throughout the three short holiday breaks and on-approval borrowing during the longer summer holiday. This approval process is simply an indication of wanting to borrow through the holiday, no outstanding overdues or lost books and, in the case of our younger readers, parent approval. That way, we can make a list of students taking books home in the holidays, extend loan due dates accordingly and make a note to exclude them from our overdue book emails and lost book replacement fee scheduling.

So, what do you think about holiday borrowing?