Book Rodgers and His Missile Fleet | Newberry

Book Rodgers and His Missile Fleet

I must say I was pleased not to find a mountain of donations waiting when I dragged myself to…jumped at the chance to come to work and sort more books yesterday. The weather had been so nice through the three-day weekend that I was sure someone would have said, “Let’s get Granny’s collection of World Book encyclopedias over to the Newb!”

We are now working on getting through all those things you brought us in July and August (Thank you, oh donor who brought us virtually every book ever written by Allen Ginsberg. Appropriately, hauling in all those and the Burroughs, Kerouac, and other underground authors left us feeling Beat.) But we are now willing and able to receive your donations. As it is a new season, we have fresh enthusiasm, fresh energy, and fresh rules.

So here’s the scoop. Currently, donations need to be brought in the front door (ideal for those first printings of the Declaration of Independence) and left on Lampe Landing (the loading dock: idle for The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Bridges of Madison County.) We are being strongly encouraged NOT to encourage donors to come to the North Entrance, those glass doors opening off the parking lot. You will look in vain for our donation missile there.

The donation missile is, at this very moment, tucked away behind the metal doors on the dock. In the grand scheme of things, these doors will be locked. Either we will set our missile out on the dock on nice days, hoping the garbage pick-up folks won’t think it’s for them, or we will keep it inside and just bring it out to load up what you have left for us on the spacious, airy dock itself. We do PAY for these missiles, and we would not want anyone to think we were leaving it there for you to wheel home, load up with books, and then bring back hitched to the back of your Prius. In a just world, we could let you do that (for a mild deposit: say one child or puppy) but missiles are simply too….

What? Why, I was hoping you’d ask that question! I have just been reading up on that subject and I can answer your burning question. If the question isn’t burning, I’ll wait while you get a match.

That box you used to see by our North Doors and may now see on Lampe Landing was bought from Hallett’s Movers, which has moved a lot of books for the Newberry over the years. Hallett’s calls a moving box which is roughly two feet by two feet by three and a half feet a Missile because it is used to move Miscellaneous Stuff. Some people spell it Miscle, which makes more sense and is thus not common usage. What we have for our book donations is technically, therefore, a Half Missile, since it is narrow enough to make it easy to maneuver around whatever else is happening.

The nation’s largest supplier of these things was the Gaylord Container Corporation, which made a massive name for itself in box construction, especially when it pushed heavily into recycled paper for its boxes. What we call a missile is therefore known through much of the world as a Gaylord, a Gaylord box, or a Gaylord moving container. Gaylord was bought up by other companies, who do not object to having the name used as a generic term. The TECHNICAL term for missiles and Gaylords is apparently “E Container”, which is a size larger than a D Container, which is bigger than a C container, which is apparently the size that U-Haul calls a “Small”, and is the biggest thing we want to see you using for donations. You CAN, of course, buy a Gaylord, put it on a pallet, fill it with books, and drive it over to our dock with your forklift. But we’d rather you didn’t.

Just set your (much smaller) boxes and bags on the dock (in the missile, if it’s out there) and we’ll take care of the rest. (And yes, you can bring them up the front steps and leave them with one of the nice people in the lobby. Our guided missiles will find them.)

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