Just when I thought I’d finished with the blue paint and textured gel medium, I spent the weekend preparing, painting and varnishing a set of small MDF letters (from Spotlight) to match the circulation desk revamped signage – and to dress up the new Returns box. Not that it needed a lot of dressing up:
I’ve read a lot of controversial comments about these BER-standard Returns boxes. Lots of schools seem to be very concerned about student safety when the box is emptied. A platform inside lowers automatically under the mass of returned books, and the lid is quite heavy. However, I never had the thought that the box in our library would be used every lesson. I had planned that, when borrowing recommences in 2011, students would continue to return their books in a pile at the circulation desk each library session – and that the lockable box is simply there for one-off returns, when no one is available to return items immediately through OASIS Library. I think the box is rather cool! And now, even cooler!
As for the “Just Back In!” boxes, these are my yet-to-be-shelved books. The divided interior of each box provides compartments for sorting. “Just Back In!” came courtesy of one of the schools in Kevin Hennah’s presentation on shoestring library makeovers, and when I first used the signage in the old library, it provided an immediate release of pent-up guilt. Suddenly, books didn’t have to be shelved (too) immediately, because the borrowers often perceive them as “Hot” titles and highly worthy of borrowing before anyone can actually re-shelve them!
“Just back in!”
STOP PRESS: The picture book, “A rat in a stripy sock” by Frances Watts & David Francis, is very popular at out school. When I bought the book, the shop gave me a free rat-in-a-stripy-sock toy, and our rat and his colourful balloons (painted styrofoam balls and Fimo clay “nozzles”) now hang from the rafters of our new school library: