Help Me Decide On A Book Return Thingee

So like every library ever we have a book return thing at our circulation desk.  Kinda like this one:


The problem is, the bin underneath is WAY too small:


I thought that’s why we didn’t use it.  The books would get the snot beat out of them falling that far down and it’s so small it doesn’t hold much.  It SHOULD look like this:


Much better!  I’ve made inquiries around the county but they say unless someone at another school wants to give me their bin (yeah, right) I’m stuck.  It’s a problem that should have been fixed when the school first opened around five years ago.  Turns out the librarian at the time didn’t care because she wouldn’t have used it even if it had been right! She thought the books would get beat up too much no matter what and preferred to have the kids return the books onto library carts like this:


The good thing about using the carts is that the kids mostly stack them neatly on the carts, it’s usually pretty quick to scan the books in and books can be placed on the cart in the morning by more than one kid at a time using both sides.

The problem with the cart method is that I have so many books coming in and not enough help that I have two carts for returns that I rotate back and forth and three carts I sort the returns onto until they get shelved.  All these carts are clearly labelled, but still.  Returns often get placed on the wrong cart and it throws a monkey wrench into the whole system.

I’m seriously considering getting a new bin for under the return slot.  A bigger one that fits the space.  I have a book fair coming up next week and could use the profits for that purpose.  A worker here in the library thinks I’m nuts.  She thinks it’s too expensive, it’ll be too much of a burden for the kids to wait in line to put the books in the slot, the books will be beaten up, and it will take me (or whoever) longer to pull them out and scan them than if they’re already on a cart.

I say I would like there to be ONE SINGLE OBVIOUS PLACE to return stuff so things don’t get all messed up (like they did today and I ended up re-scanning three stuffed carts of books because two kids put their class’ stuff on the wrong carts).

What say you?


3 thoughts on “Help Me Decide On A Book Return Thingee

  1. I have a larger, depressible cart that holds a ton. It’s something like this, but you would need to measure:

    It would be worth the $500+ At first, I had a typewriter desk with a laundry basket bungeed to it, so I feel your pain. As for carts– I have a work flow where the books come out of bin, get resensitized, get checked it, and then go AWAY from circulation onto a reshelving cart. It took some time, but it does away with exactly the problem you mentioned!

  2. I always liked the slot in the wall with a roller ramp behind it. I know that I never say the book slide down the ramp, but I could hear it ride the ramp down inside the library.

    When I collect books the usually end up stacked on the nearest table/desk so I can’t be of help here. I do the the drepressible cart Karen mentions. And having one place for all books would be good.

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