Reading: Exam Exercise 2 (Extended)
The following article is about how a school library should be organised. Read it carefully and answer the questions which follow.
Issuing Resources manually
In order to borrow books and other materials, all users need a library card. The librarian can obtain a list of staff and pupils from the school office or personnel department in order to prepare library cards.
The normal length of borrowing depends on the person running the library, but two weeks is the suggested period of loan. The book to be borrowed is stamped two weeks in advance. The catalogue card is removed from the book, placed inside the reader ticket, and the tickets are then filed alphabetically in trays displaying the due-back date. Readers can renew any resource if not requested by another user.
Usually, fines are set if users fail to return items on or before the due date. The librarian sets the fines if chosen to do so.
Some items, such as videos or reference-related materials, might be borrowed on an overnight loan; again, libraries can set the rules on how resources may be borrowed.
Issuing resources using an automated system
Details of all pupils and staff using the library are imported on the system. Any additions can be entered in the "borrower" record field. All users are issued with a library ticket. These may be made manually. The following suggestions may be helpful in producing library tickets for your school:
- The tickets could be designed by the students (as a competition) and copied.
- The school logo and the name of the school should be included.
- The tickets should be colour copied or just photocopied on to card. You should be able to get at least eight tickets per sheet of card. The tickets can then be cut and barcoded.
- Write the users' names on the tickets.
- Go to the borrower's records on the system. Find the borrower's name and scan in the barcode to register the user.
- When all the borrowers have been registered, the library tickets can be laminated or put into plastic wallets.
Alternatively, there are reputable companies who produce library cards for schools and other organisations, tailored to the purchaser's needs. Although these may work out more costly, the cards are more durable and reduce valuable librarian time.
When a resource is loaned, the barcode on the ticket is scanned, which brings up a screen with the borrower details; the barcode on the resource is then scanned, thus recording the loan. Due-back dates can be set within the system.
Maintaining resources in good condition
Resources should be kept clean and any minor repairs dealt with immediately. All paperbacks should be covered with either a plastic jacket or plastic covering. This prolongs the life of the books, especially when heavily borrowed, and the cover can be easily cleaned. Avoid using sticky tape on any resource, instead, use recommended book tape for carrying out any maintenance or minor repairs on books as sticky tape can cause damage.
An annual check of all stock is recommended in order to ascertain missing resources, resources in need of repair, and resources to be withdrawn from stock. The latter may be necessary, due to lack of use or because the resource has been damaged beyond repair; alternatively, the information contained within the resource may have gone out of date or have become culturally insensitive.
Adapted from "Planning and running a school library", University of Cambridge International Examinations, June 2002.
a. What must a user have in order to borrow something from the library? 
b. How can the librarian know who needs a library card? 
c. What two things happen to the catalogue card after it is taken out of the book? 
d. When is it not possible to renew a book? 
e. Give four pieces of advice about the design of library tickets.
f. What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying ready-made library cards? 
g. Why should sticky tape not be used on books? 
h. Based on what you have read, make a list of four reasons why a resource may need to be removed from a school library. 
Source: IGCSE English as a Second Language - Coursebook 2 by Peter Lucantoni (p. 36)