The humble book drop is often one of the more heavily used pieces of equipment in the library, but these sturdy repositories are easy to take for granted unless they aren’t doing the job right. Outdoor units should be resistant to corrosion and, in some cases, vandalism, while protecting returned materials from the elements. Wall units must be designed to help minimize hot and cold drafts, while indoor drops, like most library furniture, strike a balance between durability, functionality, and attractiveness. And, of course, all should be designed to prevent inadvertent damage to books and other materials on deposit.
This month’s product spotlight takes a look at devices available from three of the top book return manufacturers in North America.
COMPANY: Kingsley Library Equipment, div. of Jackson Manufacturing Co. (JMC), Ontario, CA
The Kingsley Library Equipment division of the JMC Group is the largest manufacturer of book drops in North America and has been making book drops for more than 50 years. The company currently offers a wide variety of drops through its own website, or via ten major library equipment distributors including Brodart, DEMCO, Gaylord, The Library Store, Vernon Library Supplies, School Outfitters, and School Specialty.
Through-wall systems include the company’s basic kwikDrop model with a stainless steel faceplate and weather hood priced from $1,189 to $1,399; the company’s Ease through-wall line, designed for compatibility with Kingsley’s ergonomic, high-capacity carts, priced from $1,444 to $2,699 (with prices varying based on features and distributor); and the high-end tekStar through-wall system, which features autosensing depository door locks and fire-suppression technology, priced from $3,591 to $4,225. Every through-wall model is American with Disabilities Act–compliant when properly installed, and each is designed to prevent outdoor heat and cold from entering a library. The Ease and tekStar models include a “Graffiti-X” coating on exterior parts, to help prevent vandalism.
Kingsley’s 4Ever line of outdoor, curbside book return units are all made with rustproof, aircraft-grade aluminum overlaid with graffiti- and UV-resistant coatings and are priced by capacity, ranging from the 250-book unit at $3,850 to the 4Ever SuperMaxx unit at $6,995, which can hold up to 1,100 books or 2,700 DVDs.
Designed for indoor use, Kingsley’s duraWood drops are available in dark mahogany, medium cherry, and light maple, with solid laminate black tops and powder-coated steel depository openings and chutes for protection against wear and tear. The standard high-capacity model is priced between $1,607 to $2,399 based on reseller, while dual-drop units with separate slots for books and media are priced from $1,675 to $2,499. Other indoor units include the Ease QuietDrop for $2,039 to $2,399, featuring a soft canvas interior liner that lowers as materials are deposited and raises as the drop is unloaded.
COMPANY: American Book Returns, St. Cloud, MN
American Book Returns offers stainless steel curbside and granite-top, powdered steel interior returns, as well as a line of through-wall returns, all priced by capacity. Curbside units all feature a heavy-gauge, stainless steel gable cap and a depressible floor that lowers as the units are filled. Prices for the outdoor units begin at $1,989 for the basic M810, which can receive 150 books, to $5,380 for the M1010 Double Drop, which has separate slots and containers for books and media and can receive 390 books plus 865 DVDs. All units larger than the standard M810 are priced with book trucks included.
The outdoor units can be customized with a variety of optional accessories, including a padlocked chute closer for $148, additional book trucks (priced from $537 for a 150-book drop for the M810, to $1,089 for an extra book truck for the M1010), or “color coated armor” paint for $445.
Through-wall returns include the standard “Head and Chute” units (HCU), “Material Depository Units” (MDU), which include a locked chest as the interior receptacle, and the M810-1010 TW units that include a book truck as the interior receptacle. Prices range from $945 for the basic HCU media unit, to $1,495 for the MDU locked depository with a 50-book capacity, to $5,609 for the M1010 TW with a divided book truck that holds up to 390 books and up to 865 DVDs.
Interior units include 150-book and 375-book drops with depressible floors, priced at $1,989 and $3,196, respectively, and 150-book and 375-book drops with trucks included, priced at $2,465 and $3,950. The company also offers an interior double drop unit with a divided truck that holds up to 240 books and 525 DVDs for $4,340. All interior drops include a granite top and are available in a selection of four different colors.
COMPANY: Birchard Company, Pomona, CA
The Birchard Company offers the EZDrop line of curbside, through-wall, and indoor book drops, available direct from the company or via distributors including Brodart, Gaylord, and Vernon Library Supplies. Outdoor book drops are made entirely with corrosion-resistant, marine-grade stainless steel with seamless, curved hoods to protect materials. The units include custom, lightweight Rubbermaid book trucks with a depressible platform that lowers itself as materials are returned. Rather than padlocks, outdoor units are secured with no-key push button combination locks, similar to those used on FedEx drop boxes. The standard outdoor EZ 7446 unit with book truck included can hold up to 300 books and is currently priced between $4,236 and $5,975 depending on distributor. The company also offers a double drop unit that can hold up to 250 books and 300 DVDs in separate trucks, with Vernon Library Supplies currently listing the units at $8,115.
The company’s EZ 51 Thruwall return features one-piece, stainless steel construction with a weatherproof exterior deposit opening and an interior chute that enables libraries to adjust chute height to receptacle height. Vernon prices these units at $1,391 for a standard model, or $1,483 for an RFID-ready model.
Birchard’s EZMT wooden indoor returns have a 150-book capacity and feature a floating, padded tray to prevent damage to books and facilitate easy retrieval. The wooden drops are available in three finishes—cherry, dark oak, or natural oak—and can be opened or locked with a hidden latch, rather than a key. Gaylord currently prices these units at $1,650.