Library Lines: Why one at a time?

Your family has taken out lots of books for Summer Reading, and now it is time to return them to the Library. You station yourself at the return slot, and the sign instructs you to drop in one item at a time and wait for the green light before proceeding. What’s up with that, you sigh, as you look at the huge stack of items in your tote bag?

All materials sent through the slot go onto a conveyor belt and are checked in electronically using a Radio Frequency Identification tag, then sorted automatically by category. This system helps us to get items back on the shelves for the next user quickly with the least amount of handling by staff.

It can only process one thing at a time, which is why each item should be sent through separately. Jumbles of multiple items put through the slot together cannot be distinguished and are passed to the end of the belt, where they must be handled manually.

Please note: the new Kindle Fires for kids must be returned directly to the Children’s Services desk. We ask also that certain oversize volumes be brought to the Circulation Desk, as they can jam and be damaged in the sorting mechanism (you will find special instructions located on the cover).