City’s Librarians Experiment with New Methods of Library Checkout


Haileigh Steffen

Library cart filled with recently check-out books.

Haileigh Steffen, Video Editor

City High Library has implemented a system of contactless delivery for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students are instructed to log in to “Destiny Discover” through the library web page to access the library’s catalog. Once on, students can place holds on a book that interests them. If the student is in online enrollment, the book is placed in the main office for pick up. If in standard enrollment while at school, the book is delivered to their English classroom. Alternatively, English teachers can send the library a whole class list through a Google form or Google doc. The library then delivers the cart to that classroom, a system that the library department has found success in. 

“When we started this [system], we weren’t sure how well it would work and how easy it would be to get books into kid’s hands with a touchless delivery,” Daphne Foreman, a teacher-librarian at City High School, said. “It’s been no problem. We can easily and quickly get whole classes taken care of in a day.” 

While standard enrollment students are having little-reported issues checking out books, Foreman reports online enrollment students are having trouble picking up books. 

“So, we’ll be working on expanding some time for that or and communication so the kids know to come to pick those up. It’s not that we’re mad at anybody for not picking up a book, but it means that they don’t have the benefit of [that book], nor does anybody else if it’s just sitting there in the office,” Foreman said. 

Inversely, books have not been returned by online enrollment students. Foreman hopes that students will soon get into the habit of this new process. In the meantime, the library will be sending out emails and paper notices for last year’s missing books. However, unreturned books will not have fines attached. As Foreman says, “it’s not about punishment, but about replacement.”

“It’s the thinking in all library services, from public libraries to school libraries, that we don’t want people to penalize people or discouraged them for coming and getting more books,” Foreman said. “We just want them to have access.”

To increase book returns, bins have been placed outside the band area and in the main office. Students may use these bins at any time and during the school day, respectively. 

In addition to being contactless, the new system has helped students learn to navigate online library resources. Foreman stated that ebook and audiobook traffic is low, however. A library report earlier this week showed that four out of hundreds of online books were checked out. To this, Foreman commented, “We have hundreds of ebooks and audiobooks, so hopefully, students will start using them. We are going to work more on our Twitter and Insta presence in addition to using Canvas to get that access info to people.”

“I think maybe online [students] aren’t getting quite as many [books], but on the other hand, we have kids who are requesting five books at a time so that they always have something to read at home,” Foreman said. “So, it seems to me, people who are regular readers are still reading a lot.”