Thanks to all those who replied to my earlier note (below). As promised, I
will try to summarize the answers I received.

Book returns - The consensus is that I shouldn't sweat complex solutions.
Most recommended that we find local handyworker to build or modify a box to
hold accept returned books. (We've engaged a congregant who his willing to
build us a dropbox  and we're in the process of mocking it up.)

Successful dropbox designs shared by others include everything from a slot
cut in the service desk with a cardboard box with crumpled newspaper at the
bottom behind it, to a plastic bin by the door, to a modified toy box. No
one seemed too concerned about books being damaged when dropped. (Our
design is far more relaxed than we'd originally thought it needed to be: a
slot in our check-in kiosk with a shelf to catch the books.)

Our issue with sacred books puzzled most others. However this a real
concern at our temple (Reform).  I have since asked our clergy who have
confirmed that putting sacred books through a book drop is not acceptable.
In fact they have decided that such texts should not circulate at all. We
are now in the process of marking these REFERENCE.

Regarding non-returns, there were a range of options. Follow up methods
include everything from email, to phone calls, to mailed letters, to
door-to-door visits. One library is able to add costs of replacement to
members' dues while most have to shine on the loss.  One suggests that
miscreants make restitution in the form of a donation to the library fund.
We're still exploring what works best in our setting.

One response asked for more info about our self-check system. As mentioned
in earlier posts, we're using Libib as our catalog system. It has a lending
feature with a self-check option.  I'll report more fully about our
experience once our installation is complete.

Good shabbos,

Lee Jaffe
Temple Beth El, Aptos

On Jul 3, 2017 9:57 AM, "Lee Jaffe" <> wrote:

> We're finally gotten our synagogue library collection cataloged and
> relabelled and will be bringing lending online in a matter of weeks.
> Having tackled the big issues, I'm now trying to sort out all of the
> "minor" issues and finding them far more troublesome.
> 1) We have a self-checkout station coming but the system requires that
> returned items be checked in by "staff."  This probably means we need a
> secure spot where returns can be left during times when staff is not
> around.  I've looked at book drops available through library sources and
> they all are far bigger than we need and more expensive than we can
> afford.  Does anyone know of a source for a more modest book drop?  Or, I
> can ask if the temple office would be willing to take returns and hold them
> until we can collect them and check them in?  I'd be interested in hearing
> how others have dealt with off-hours returns, either via hardware or other
> arrangements.
> 2) Related to the above, a concern was raised about sacred books going
> through a book drop.  I've already heard from the clergy about proper
> handling – i.e., stacking volumes –  of sacred books. so I'm been careful
> to observe those protocols.  If we go ahead with installing a book drop,
> there is no way to guarantee what will be piled on what and how.  We might
> need to either remove sacred texts from circulation or find a separate,
> alternate arrangement for returning these.  I will probably consult with
> the rabbis about this question, but I'd like to hear how other synagogue
> libraries have handled this.
> 3) How do other synagogue libraries deal with items not returned after
> amble notice?  Our system will send out 3 email reminders after the due
> date but, after that, we'd have to pursue the return "manually."  I'm aware
> of the social and political sensitivities in a temple community – you don't
> want to alienate an active member or a big donor over a missing $5
> paperback – but I also want folks to take the library seriously.  I've
> considered several options, from follow-up email, phone calls or USPS mail,
> asking for return or $$$ for replacement.  Other libraries I've worked in
> had the means of billing users for replacing books not returned, but I
> don't think that's an option hear.  Again, this is something I'll need to
> consult with internally – with the board, in this case – but I'd like to
> have an idea how other synagogue libraries approach this in order to come
> to them with a proposed policy.
> If you reply to me directly, I will summarize responses and share them
> with the list.
> Thanks in advance for your help.
> Lee Jaffe
> Temple Beth El (Aptos)
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