You know that I'm always looking for a good way to encourage students to return their books, right? And I don't want to spend a lot of money, because I'd rather spend our budget on MORE BOOKS.
So, here's what's working for me...
When a class comes to the library for their weekly checkout, and every single student has either returned or renewed their books, we do a cheer and put a sign outside their classroom door. I chose "this class is jawsome" because my students are shark-crazy, and it matches our ocean theme.
I write the teacher's name and the date on this card with my trusty black Sharpie, and the teacher posts it in the hall, by the classroom door. It's not fancy at all! But it gets the attention of other students and teachers, and the competitive spirit kicks in!
When the class earns this award, we line up, we chant "our class is jawsome," and we make three big chomping motions (like the Florida Gator chomp) with our arms.
Here's what it sounds like:
(I couldn't video this because of student privacy. So you'll hear us doing our chant, but all you'll see is the jawsome sign.)
Of course I'll give you my sign for free, right here from my Google Drive. You can change it up to match your theme, or whatever your students particularly love. The fun part is celebrating together!
Our music teacher has an award like this that says "This class rocks" that she provides for excellent behavior in music class. When I saw how excited the teachers and students were about posting their music awards, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create a library award.
This whole-class-reward is in addition to the shelf marker/library card/punch cards that reward individual responsibility. Our punch cards are still going strong, and even the fifth graders have been excited to earn a trip to the treasure chest to get a free pencil, eraser or bookmark!
I hope you are finding ways to make responsibility rewarding in your library! If you've found something that works, please share it in a comment!