Library Gets New Drop-Box - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/27/03 - Tyler

Library Gets New Drop-Box

The Tyler Public Library announced today that it has installed a new drive-up book drop under the entry-way Porte Cochere in the library parking lot at 201 S. College. It is a reinforced metal box approximately 3 feet square and about 5 feet high with book chutes on two sides so that drivers can approach it from both the College and Bois D’Arc Avenue sides of the library parking lot.

Its location under the porch allows for some shelter from the rain as well as a lighted area at night. In preparation the library has striped the driveway under the porch with a center stripe and posted height limits signs for the roof and a pedestrian crossing sign. With staff members emptying the drop during the day and possible pedestrian use of the drop as well, the library wanted things to be as safe as possible. In addition there are four small columns that were placed at the four corners of the drop to help protect from accidental collisions with the box.

The library already had a walk-up book drop in the wall of the building adjacent to the south entrance doors that deposited books directly into the processing area. This drive-up drop, however, will make it possible for patrons to return books without ever leaving their vehicles. City Librarian, Chris Albertson credits Council Member Joyce Armstrong-Scurry with being a strong advocate for adding this service.

“The challenge in providing this new service was to find a safe place to put such a device both from a traffic and employee perspective,” Albertson said.

The library building is situated such that there were no convenient approaches that would have allowed a drive-up book drop to empty directly into the building. Also, circulation of traffic in the parking areas precluded any safe areas where such a box might be placed out in the parking lot. Several potential locations were considered and rejected before staff hit upon placing the drop under the existing porch. This location has the advantage of providing some cover from wet weather and it is a lighted area at night.  The library plans to keep the drop open 24 hours per day and anticipates emptying it each morning.

“If it proves more popular it may need to be emptied by staff more than once each day,” Albertson said.

Albertson also requested that the public still return their audiovisual materials and oversized items inside the building during regular operating hours.

“We hadn’t planned to install two separate boxes, one for AV materials and one for books,” Albertson said. “There just wasn’t enough room for two boxes and there would most likely be confusion as to which box to use for which media.  With books and video and audio tapes all being tossed in together there is the potential for damage of the more fragile av material if heavier books are tossed in upon them”.

The purchase and installation of the drive up box cost approximately $3,000.

Kevin Berns, reporting.

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