Stop Paying Library Fines

We love the library, and check out many books at a time. The library is a great way to increase your family’s library without spending money, or taking up more space in your home. Books that we end up checking out over and over we buy, but usually we enjoy the library books and then return them when they are due.

The library is not a good deal if you end up paying tons of library fines and lost book fees. In order to keep this from happening in our family I created a library basket. This is a metal basket with wheels in which we store all our library books. I love the fact that is has wheels because even our littlest children can move the basket to their reading spot. When they are finished reading the books they return them to the basket. When it is time to return the books we transfer them from the basket to our library bag and head to the library.

I have rarely paid a library fine, and I am sure it is because of our book basket. The kids all know where the books go and put them back when they are finished. The library book basket works for us!




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  1. I love your basket! Where did you get it? I’d love to have something like that. Right now we use an office file storage cardboard box. We have it right by the garage door so we can grab everything that’s due and throw it in our library book bag on our way out the door. We go about once a week so that works for us. But I LOVE the basket!

  2. What a good idea. I am guilty of paying far too many fines. It frustrates me! I will have to try this out!

  3. How did ya’ train ’em not to mix them with their own books? That’s our biggest problem! LOL

  4. I have a certain shelf on these built ins that we have for all the library books. My kids are pretty good about keeping the library books on that shelf.

    But I got this notice that I had these 2 books overdue. I looked everywhere and I was pretty certain I had turned them in. So, while we were at the library I asked the librarian. He said we could look on the shelves…and I FOUND one of the books. I was kind of ticked about it. So I have scoured my place for this other one and I really think I turned it in too. I have told the library and they actually FORGAVE me, took off the fines and removed the book from my account.

    I couldn’t believe that!

  5. We do the same thing…keep them all in one basket. Plus our library sends out email reminders when books are coming due and you can check the status of checked-out books online. I love it!

  6. I like that basket! One thing that has helped me is signing up for email reminders. I get an email several days before the books are due. I also renew book sonline if we’re not done with them or if I know I’ll have trouble getting them back before the due date.

  7. We have a similar system, but I use a very large dishpan. Your basket is much prettier. 😉
    I also write the book due date on the calendar. Should’ve thought of that years ago…

  8. What a great idea! I have thought of having a basket for library books, but not one with wheels. I think the one’s with wheels would make it nicer!

    Thanks for the ideas. 😀

    I also noticed the paint colors on your walls. Could you please tell me what colors they are?

    I have the SAME colors in my house, and I am trying to find the perfect green and perfect taup colors. I am afraid ! LOL!


  9. I joke with my husband that I intentionally pay fines as my way of supporting the library. By now I should have am entire library dedicated to my financial support! I need to take this wonderful advice!

  10. I need something like that for ours. Thankfully, our library sends me an email to let me know that books are coming due. 😀

  11. Great idea!

  12. I use Library Elf. It is a free site. You enter your card numbers (for ALL family members!) and they email you when books are due. I love it. It has saved me many $$ in fines!

  13. Great idea! I haven’t had to pay a fine yet, but I usually have to search the house for the books.

  14. Try (See if your library is linked in their system and you can have e-mails sent to you when your items are due.) Depending on the level of service you desire and the number of library cards you want linked to your email, the service will either be free or fee based.

    I love your book basket idea as well.

  15. Our library has an online presence … when I check out books, I come home, sign onto my account, and copy/paste the information (we ha^e 6 cards – limit of 10 books each – library rules) into my word processor. I highlight any books that are due within the next 7 days, and note that date on my calendar. I then round up the kid’s baskets (dishpans) and find those books and mo^e them to the front of the baskets.

    When library day rolls around, I take my list, ha^e the kids bring their baskets to the computer, and one at a time we pull books that are due and mark them in BOLD before dropping them into the library bag. Any missing books are found (usually on their school desks or in a backpack) and put either back into their baskets or into the return bag. Finally, I print the library list and take it with me. I know at a glance that “Joel” has 4 books still at home, and is returning 3 books, and has room for 6 books on his card.

    This way I know what I am taking back, sa^ing me dozens of times in paying for a book that the library didn’t get checked in properly, and I was able to say with certainty that we didn’t ha^e it at home. The librarians know I ha^e a list, so they ne^er question it. I just go back to the shelf and retrie^e the missing book. (I’m not sure why it takes the library 6 weeks to do that themsel^es). Also, because we ha^e a limit, I know exactly how many books to put on each card, which books are still at home, and who needs books and who has “too many” at home.

    I also do this for my little sister’s family and my best friend’s family. Once I copy their lists, I email them to them and they know exactly what they ha^e out, and I can help them watch for o^er due books.

  16. We definitely have issues with overdue fines and book replacement fees. We have a small bookcase in our living room that has two shelves dedicated to library books and a calendar that hangs above with the dates of due books circled. When we get to a circled date, I check online for the books that are due and they are returned. Occasionally I forget to look at the calendar and once every few months we find that a book that needs to be returned is not on the bookcase where it should be. Since library books aren’t supposed to leave the living room, I’m not sure where they go.

  17. Very smart system you have!! I love that rolling basket!!

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