It actually caused quite a few problems. On busy days when I couldn't keep up with the traffic, the books would overflow the bin. Plus, the check out computer wouldn't let students check out because they still hadn't returned their books, only they really had. They were just buried under other books that had been "dropped."
Several years later, I was at a conference and heard about a library that had eliminated their book drop, having the students place books directly on a book truck instead. You should have heard the exclamations throughout the room. It was ingenious!
I brought the idea back and implemented it in my library, with a few changes:
1. I have my students check their books in themselves.
2. The cart is labeled, and the students place books on the correct shelf of a labeled cart.
3. I made up a little jump rope chant to help the students place them correctly on the shelf: "UP like a DOOR, with the LABEL near the FLOOR."
4. We hot-glued foamy shelf liner on the shelves to help books stay upright. It doesn't last forever, but it certainly helps.
5. To prevent a long line out the door when large groups come in, I revert to a mini version of the book drop by placing a container on the desk. Students drop books in, and then I check them all in quickly.
1. Cover the book drop hole securely - your students will try to help by uncovering it :)
2. Set up the computer closest to the entrance to check in, and leave it that way all day. Connect loud speakers so your students can hear the "good" sound.
3. Walk through the process with your classes.
4. Set up the other computer to check out and place parameters to only allow a maximum of checkouts per patron. That way, it will sound a warning if the students accidentally fail to check in their books. Remind them that they won't be able to check out if they haven't effectively checked in, so they should listen for the "good" sound every time they check in a book.
4. You'll need 2 of these carts, so you can have a replacement while you take one to shelve.
Please contact me if you have any problem opening the following documents.
Check In Sign
Return Cart Labels
(Click the printer icon, select "Open with Adobe" and print from there for best quality)
Elf Sign 1
Elf Sign 2
Elf Sign 3
Elf Sign 4
Yours happily ever after,