Re: Bookdrop return of videos
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 22:00:36 -0400 (EDT)

Don't get me started on this! It took me three attempts over the course of a
year to get my library to allow patrons to return video tapes in the book
drops. I finally triumphed when I went into the manager's meeting and
dropped a video on the floor. Then I dropped about ten books on it,
demonstrating once and for all that nothing would happen.

If you circulate them in decent plastic cases, videos do much better in book
drops than books. We had a patron who actually ran over a video with a car.
The case was totalled, but the video was playable. The shell had a small
crack but the tape inside was fine. We put it in a new shell and put it back
on the shelves.

As for the temperature thing: First of all you're only going to get warping
if the tape is left in direct sunlight. Secondly, everything I've ever read
has indicated that as long as the tape is allowed to return to room
temperature before playing, it will not sustain any damage. If properly
taken care of, your tapes will wear out from overuse before the weather gets

A lot of people in my library said that patrons would not be happy if they
had to pay for videos damaged in the book drops. My reply was that it was
the library's policy that a patron is responsible for any item on his/her
card no matter how it was returned. They don't like paying for damaged books
either, but circ makes them, even if they were damaged in a drop.

IMHO, there is absolutely no reason to deny patrons the convenience of
returning videos in the book drop.

I warned you not to get me started.

-Chuck Ebert
Head, Audio-Visual Services
Muskingum County Library System
Zanesville, OH

<<Greetings! O wise videofolk:

I'd like your help with a puzzling issue: Are videos harmed
when returned into a bookdrop?

We're trying to decide how best to serve the convenience of our public
library customers vs the risk of damage to the AV material. Some of our
branch libraries have free-standing bookdrop bins, so the bin contents get
hot in the (75-90 degree) summer and freeze in the (zero and below) winter.
Some have slots that drop the items (books, magazines, audio- and
videotapes) directly into a box within the library.

What is your experience with videos being returned to a drop? Or,
can you direct me to information on the subject? Thanks for your

Kathy White
Door County Library
107 S 4th Ave
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235>>