A picture of a Lighthouse Keeper's library gave me an idea: we do a lot of outreach work of one type and another and we’re looking at doing a lot more in future.
It occurs to me that the containers we use for delivery don’t actually say “Rochdale Library Service” or that acts as a unifying element to the collections of books, etc. that we’re sending out. It’s probably the wrong year to suggest this but it could be a good idea to have a robust package like this (one dreams of varnished oak!) that could hold a couple of dozen or so books or similar at a time and that could be issued as group items on the system — “Books In A Box.”
The advantages would be:
- There’d be a robust container that carried the Rochdale Library Service brand.
- The package could be designed to hold a set number of items, so it would be obvious to the borrower when something’s missing because there’d be a gap where it ought to be.
- The interior of the doors could include display information about the Library Service and/or the stock in the box. Which means that when it’s not being a package in transit it could be a miniature display cabinet, which would be particularly useful for situations with deposit collections.
- “Spare” boxes could be used as props in displays and at exhibitions and conferences.
- Each box would contain different materials so it should be easy enough to ensure that loans to nurseries, nursing homes, etc. were refreshed — staff would only need to know that the site’s had boxes 1, 4 and 6 so far this year instead of the 72 or so titles that had been loaned in the process.
Periodically, somebody would need to check the state of the stock in the boxes; the prompt for that could be set automatically on the system. And of course there’d be no reason why the site couldn’t borrow additional items to complement the “Books In A Box.”
It seems too obvious for us not to already be doing it. Perhaps I'll spot the snag if I sleep on it.