I know a fair number of libraries employ book drops around the towns they service, so that if a person can’t make it over to the library they can still drop off their books. There are a couple downsides, though.
The one we get complaints about the most tends to have to do with how often the book drops are picked up. Depending on the library and how much the book drop is used, it may only get picked up once a day, which means that your items could end up being a day late. And even though our fines are pretty small and your item actually has to be two days late before you actually start accruing fines, people can get pretty upset about having to pay 10 cents or 25 cents on some of the items.
The other downside has to do with rainy days. For the last two days here it has been pouring rain and that means that our book drops around town have a tendency to get puddles in the bottom. Books can end up sitting in the book drops for 24 hours (or more if it happens to be dropped off on Friday afternoon), which means we get really soggy books coming back to us. Now the plus side here for the patron is that we don’t charge them for these books, after all, its not really their fault that that particular book drop has a puddle at the bottom. But it does mean that on rainy days, we do end up having to withdraw and discard dozens of soggy books because they are just too wet. These are books that probably would have continued circulating for at least another year or more.
And while the rain is definitely a blessing when we’ve had such dry weather, it always makes us cringe when the book drops are picked up and brought to us.
What I ask of you, is that if you use your library’s book drops around your town, try and make the extra effort to stop by your library to drop off your book on rainy days, especially if you really enjoyed it.