This past school year, we were faced with the task of tracking and monitoring textbooks going home with our middle school students. Teachers were being told they would have to do the tracking themselves, which meant the teachers were coming up with all kinds of manual tracking forms and procedures. When I found out about this, I knew there should be a way for the technology we have at the school to accommodate this better. I tried a little experiment in the library and found the answer:
If you make up a list of your students in Excel, you can turn it into a mini database and use the library's bar code reader to enter the numbers from the textbooks for you.
I made one for each grade level. It took 20 minutes for a class of 25 with three textbooks per student to get everyone entered in. I sent the lists to the teachers, and did so again at the end of the school year when the students turned their books in.