100 Scope Notes
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Results! The Big Ol’ Elementary Book Checkout Survey


On Tuesday, I asked all fellow nosy elementary school librarians to spill the deets on their book checkout policies. 205 nosy people responded by completing my survey. Thank you fellow nosy people!

And now . . . the results.

(Click to enlarge charts)

Survey Q 1


My Reaction: I was expecting that most school libraries would have scheduled checkout times. The big surprise here is that a full 30% of respondents do some sort of mixture of scheduled and flexible checkout times.

Survey Q 2

Survey Q 3


Survey Q 4

Survey Q 5

Survey Q 6

Survey Q 7

My Reaction: Scroll through these quickly and watch that red section (1 book) shrink and the green and purple sections (3 and 4+ books) grow. As kids get older, the trend is more checkouts. It doesn’t seem to plateau at 2, but in many cases continues to increase.

Survey Q 8

My Reaction: Okay, this one showed up weird in the results, so allow me to explain:

The first bar (13) stands for the answer “return all of their books”.

The second bar (142) stands for “return at least one book”.

The third bar (7) stands for “have nothing overdue”.

There were also a number of variations of these three answers, but for the sake of space I can’t include them here.

I was actually thinking more libraries would require all books to be turned in before checking out new. Our library falls into the second bar (“return at least one book”).

Survey Q 9

My Reaction: Pretty clear. Most libraries don’t allow students who are missing all their books to check out new. Over on Twitter, librarian Dawn Vieira explained her policy for students who have forgotten all their books, and I thought it was a good idea:

Survey Q 10

My Reaction: I was thinking it would be an overwhelming “false”. Fellow school librarians: how about we turn that whole pie red, eh?

Well, my nosiness is satisfied. For now . . .

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Niki Barnes says:

    Um. I took the survey and accidentally answered the last question incorrectly….so the pie is even redder! ??