I Don't Mean to Alarm You

Hey gang! So, because of the snow we had this year, we're going all the way until June 19th! DOH! I mean, super! And if you're out of school already....well, I will try not to be salty about it, but I'm jealous baby! I'm looking at you Tiffany Whitehead! LOL (Baton Rouge, LA gets out EARLY!)

Around Memorial Day is when we start trying to get books back. Not from our active readers, but from those kiddos who have had books out for a long time. I'll share the back story below but the mobile suggestion right up front.
This way, you don't have to read me blather on (unless you want to!) to get this cool idea.  My lovely & wonderful Media Assistant Ms. Kathi Bell, came up with this, with a recommendation from her son (and good friend of our library) John Bell.

It's Alarming!
If a kid owes you a book, ask if they have their cell phone on them. My examples are for the Apple phones (because that's what I have) but I'm sure a similar technique works with Android. If you know of it, I invite you to Tweet or comment below and I'll add it with credit!

Say to the kid "what time do you get home from school today?" If they have after school-activities it might be as late as 5:30pm. Set a timer for that, then edit the label, or what the alarm is for with "Don't forget media books" and I always add an Emoji or three.

And so far this is working great! If they don't have a cell phone, I'll ask permission to put a tiny sharpie tattoo on the kids hand of either a book, heart, or a smiley face saying while I do it, "now when you see this tonight at home, immediately goo find that book and put it in your backpack or next to the front door." And Voila! We're getting books our back!

Back Story

Here's the back story - or what we've done for the past 15 or more years to get our books back.

Silly & Annoying in Overdrive
I've done silly Blabberize videos throughout the years featuring the Bieber, the Twilight cast, TSwift, Llamas, and Rebecca Black with a Zombie.  See below. We play these on our live morning MHTV show -- enough times to annoy the heck outta the kids! I'll even have the kids say in a local news piece introducing these videos, that they better bring the books back or we will play this again....and again. Evil laugh.

If you haven't tried Blabberize before, it's super easy and fun! You can even convert it to video so that you can upload it to YouTube! Directions below.

Or you can embed the Blabberize just like this!

Here's my Comic Tutorial or Infographic on how to make a Blabberize!

One of my first iMovies was a Guy Ritchie SNATCH inspired video from the early 2000's. All these kids are in their twenties or even [cough] thirties now! LOL

I'm honestly tired of making calls home for books. Or sending emails. Before Ms. Bell came into my life, I had a magic number range in my head that I would be OK with, for lost books. It was
15-20. But, she's like super motivated to get every book back! You go girl! And because of her, we've gotten to a lower number every year. With our population of have's and have not's though - that might not always be doable, but we've come quite close!

I know there are kids in our school who may have kept the book because they love it and wanted it and maybe couldn't get it any other way. And if I have to replace that book so that they can keep it, I'm OK with that. Either way, next fall - we do an "amnesty program" where we clear out all the accounts and re-order the lost books, because I NEVER EVER want a kid to not be able to get a book.

But teaching responsibility is good, too! That's why this alarm trick has been working for us.

Your Turn!
What works for you? How do you get your books back? What's your magic number that you're willing to let go? Do you have an amnesty program?

Header graphic and most of the other graphics were made with Raw Pixel, Bitmoji, PicMonkey, and Photoshop. Thank you for reading friends!

Just my luck!
It's my birthday Monday and wouldn't you know it, I'm sick as a dog! My allergies have morphed into a full blown upper respiratory infection. The Minute Clinic nurse said the only thing to do was to drink lots of liquids, especially tea & honey and take it easy.  But at least my Mom is nearby to take care of me. This is what I'm living on right now.
Any suggestions? Thank goodness for Kleenex cool touch tissues! They're the BEST!  
Have a great rest of the school year friends - thank you as always, for reading! I really appreciate you!


  1. Happy Belated Birthday!! I start textbook collection a week from today, and all library books are due June 4th. Only 1100 library books and 7500 textbooks to collect. I'll be using your alarm tip. So much better than the sticky note:)

    1. Thank you sweet friend! I ALMOST stooped to bribing. I bought iTunes gift cards (one for every grade) and next year I'll do a drawing starting early so it doesn't look like I'm rewarding bad borrowing behavior. I just get desperate for new innovative ideas! I also saw a reminder wristband, but if I know my kids, they won't wear it home! No matter how cool I make it look! LOL Cheerws dear Mary! ~Gwyneth


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