Dear American Girl,
I keep losing library books. I check them out, I read them in my room or take them places, and they go missing. I ended up having to spend birthday money on fines for my lost books. I want to keep checking out books, but I need to keep better track of them. Any ideas?
Here's your advice:
I keep my books in a bag with the words "Library Book Bag" on it. Use fabric paint to write these words on a plain tote bag. Put all of your borrowed books in it, and once you're done reading a book, put it back in the bag so that you don't lose it.
-Madison, age 12, Maine
In your room, make one pile for books that need to go back to the library and another pile for books you have not yet read. This works for me, so I hope it'll work for you.
-Gianna, age 11, Iowa
When I was younger, I used to lose a lot of library books. So I decided to make a special spot on my bookshelf for borrowed books. Now, whenever I finish reading a library book, it goes in my section for library books. This has helped me a lot.
-Katherine, age 12, Massachusetts
One thing you could do is check out only one book at a time. If you want to check out multiple books, make sure that you create a special place to keep your books at home.
-Jane, age 10, California
On a whiteboard in your room, make a list of all the books you've checked out and when they're due to help you keep track of when to bring them back.
-Keandra, age 13, Wisconsin
It sounds as if you might need to be a bit more organized. Go through and organize your room, desk, and backpack—you may find some library books in the process. Then be sure to do your best to stay organized!
-Paige, age 12, Washington
When I want to see which library books I've checked out and when I need to return them, I go to my library's website and log in to see all of the books I've borrowed. Then I make sure I have them all and return them by the due dates. See if your library has a website like mine does.
-Abella, age 11, Oklahoma
Check out only one or two books at a time so that you won't have to keep track of as many books. Good luck!
-Virginia, age 12, Washington
Create a special reading corner in your bedroom. In your nook, include a small shelf or basket where you'll keep all of your library books. You can also put a blanket and beanbag chair in the corner to make it extra cozy.
-Amy, age 11, Delaware
My sisters and I used to lose library books all the time, so my mom made a rule that whenever each of us is not reading a book, it goes in the family "library cabinet." This helped me a lot. Maybe your family could do the same thing.
-Eleanor, age 13, Nebraska
When I get a book from the library, I look at the due date and write it down in my school planner. That way, I always remember to return my books.
-Whitney, age 11, Virginia
If you don't lose any library books, you could reward yourself with something small, such as a new bookmark. But just in case you might lose more books, set aside a little money from your birthday or allowance—this will be your "in case of emergency" money for library fines.
-Maggie, age 10, Alaska
Try not to take your library books out of the house, but if you do, make sure you put each book back in your backpack or bag as soon as you finish reading it.
-Vivian, age 9, Texas
Write "Remember to return your books!" on a sticky note and put it somewhere where you'll notice it, such as your nightstand or your bathroom mirror.
-Grace, age 11, Massachusetts
Get a book from the library, and as soon as you finish it, return it to the library. I love reading, and I know it can be hard to remember to return books. It just takes a little discipline and a good routine.
-Evelea, age 12, Illinois
First, I must say, you have to be a good reader to go through that many books! Second, I think that after you're finished with library books, you should put them in the same spot every time. That way, you'll always know where to look for them. Remember that these books are your responsibility, and you owe it to your library to be good about returning their books.
-Megan, age 10, Illinois