Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Introducing: the ROBOT Challenge!

Tired of overdue books dominating your students' accounts? We were, too! ...until we were saved by robots!

(All thanks and praise to our library paraeducator for coming up with this amazing incentive!)

The Return Our Books On Time (or ROBOT) Challenge is a way for us to monitor overdue status weekly, inform students of what books need to be renewed or returned, and cut down on the number of lost and unindemnified titles accumulating on our CIRC records.

Weekly overdue books have dropped considerably since beginning the ROBOT Challenge.
Here's how it works:

  • We run a report each week to determine the number of overdue books in each class. 
  • Each class with zero overdues for the week receives a piece (see Post-it note) on the ROBOT Challenge board.
    • NOTE: Books overdue beyond 30 days do not count against the class, although the responsible party (student) is excluded from the prize until the book is returned.
  • When a class receives five pieces, the class earns a prize.
    • NOTE: Pieces don't have to be earned consecutively.
    • ALSO NOTE: Prizes = Eagle Wings (reward tickets used throughout our school which students can "cash in" for prizes such as lunch bunch with their teacher, extra recess, etc.)
  • After earning a prize, your game pieces are cleared and the class can attempt to win again.

We let the stats speak for themselves (and love sharing the math connection, too)!

Since beginning the ROBOT Challenge our number of overdue books has taken a dive. Where we typically end the school year with around 100-120 overdue or lost books (an estimated $1500 value), total number of overdues each week now hovers around 40 books. 

This all means there's more to share on the shelves and that's makes for a pretty happy librarian, if I do say so myself.

- Matthew


  1. Fantastic Idea!!! Thank you!!!

  2. Can you tell me more about "eagle wings"? I have heard
    Of individual teachers doing this but not whole schools....how does it work? P.s. thanks for the robot idea! I am definitely going to steal that!