The DIY Library Book Return

27 Apr

Interesting fact:  a new library book return bin/system costs big money . . . $600 for something small & basic to upwards of $1000 for anything of substance.

Problem:  My school library does not have a book return.  My library does not have a spare $1000.  Patrons just drop off their books on a cart at the entrance. You can easily imagine the organizational horrors of this when hundreds of books can be dropped off in a single day.

Solution:  the DIY book return!  Read on . . .


This counter/cupboard lived in the school office for years.  Our photocopy machine sat on it.  When a new, larger  copier was purchased the counter was tagged as surplus.  I knew it was a gem, however, so up to the library it traveled.   The counter remains a great place for storing things like our shared printers . . .


 . . . and the right-hand side cupboards conveniently hide away the recycling bin and extra copy paper stash.  The counter is even open in the back for easy access from the adjacent circulation counter.  But the left-hand side of the unit is all about the book return!!!


The doors have been secured, an opening cut,  and signs affixed . . . voila!

The DIY Library Book Return!


I found an upgrade opportunity a few months after the new book return made its debut .  The Madison Public Library  is being rebuilt and the old site demolished.  Before demo crews came in, non-profit groups were allowed take any leftover furniture, racks, displays, etc that did not make the cut for the new building.  I scored a rolling, spring-loaded book drop cart . . . for FREE!


More sawing had to be done in order for the cart to reach the drop slot but really,  I couldn’t be happier with the results.   A giant-sized thank you goes to Todd Peterson and Dean Woldstad for their muscle, tools and time.


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