The previous book cart system is making a return. Books will be moved around on carts and handed out to students, who will fill out a slip of information to be given to the teacher. Once the student returns the book, the teacher will give the slip back as physical evidence of the return.
Assistant Principal of the English Department Marc Williams, who keeps inventory and ensures everyone gets the books they need, says “It’s no different than going to a bookstore and getting a receipt.”
While a bit outdated, the book cart system is simple and provides physical proof of the book exchange. This transition, according to Williams, is a result of a few inherent flaws found within the scan system.
Williams says, “part of the advantage of technology is it can record all the info you need,” however, that information has not been easily accessible. While the electronic scanning made distribution more streamlined, there has not been a single comprehensive record to keep track of “who owes what.”
According to Mr. Williams, the school administration observed the amount of issues that arose when a student needed to find out books he or she did not return. Rather than going into a single record and typing in the student’s name, the process required the student ID or manual entry of an OSIS number. Given the volume of students unaware of what they owe, this was inefficient.
Williams stated that he has no strong feelings about the change, saying that keeping good inventory is most important.
However, several other English teachers did not know about his new change. English teacher Danny Schott was unaware of the book cart’s return until now.
“Damn, news to me,” says Schott. “That can work though. For the first 23 years of my career that’s how it worked.”
His main concern is the responsibility. He believes that scanning was smooth and prompted students to be more responsible, while the physical receipt hands off the obligation to the teachers. Regardless, Schott mentioned the importance of inventory by stating the main issue with book distribution is a “problem of accommodation” for such a large school.
Timothy Ree, another English teacher, says, “I want something convenient.” Ree thought scanning has been very convenient, but was astonished when informed that there was no single, comprehensive record of book exchanges.
Williams says that this method of book distribution will not be permanent, but a placeholder while an improved scanning system is organized. “This is not the end of scanning, but going back to the drawing board,” he said.
The book carts will begin rolling out when the current books given to students are returned, most likely in concurrence with this Spring Term.