Dropping, Dropping, Dropping, Dropping | Newberry

Dropping, Dropping, Dropping, Dropping

See, the optimum place to drop off books is the loading dock, that little concrete shelf that, to me at least, looks so loading docky that you can’t miss it. Some people do, though. So I thought I’d offer a little refresher course on dropping off books.

I know that during the Grand renovation, we asked you to leave books in the missile just inside the glass doors off the parking lot. These have been locked tight due to security aspirations, and you’re not supposed to leave things for us there. (Sometimes the guard will buzz you in anyhow. They’re not supposed to do that, either.) If you MUST leave things indoors because you don’t trust the neighbors or the roof over the dock, there’s always the front door (and a lot of stairs to haul things up. But there is also our nifty new (low) elevator out front, if you’re hauling a lot.) Since there’s a bus stop out front, it isn’t exactly where the city wants you to park and unload books, of course. Much better to deliver your complete collection of King Family LPs to the dock and get it done the easy way.

For those of you who learned about it all during the glass door period, or those of you who dropped off books three or four years ago, this is how it all works.

You drive into our parking lot, which opens at something like 63 W. Oak. (There’s no actual number like that because it’s just a gate: it doesn’t get direct mail. If you write it a fan letter, it has to get pick that up from the front of the building.) The dock is basically a straight shot from the gate, allowing for some artistic curves, the bike rack, and our landmark ivy (gradually turning an impressive red, at this point.) You will know it by the plaque which declares this to be Lampe Landing.

There is OCCASIONALLY a missile sitting on the dock for donations. This is a large heavy cardboard box on wheels. Do NOT put anything into those grey plastic boxes: those are for recycling. Do NOT put anything in the big metal monster to the left: that is a garbage compacter, and is supposed to be locked shut so you can’t put anything in there at all.

If there is no large cardboard missile, OR you have too much to fit into it, you may leave everything right there on the dock, preferably not right in front of the doors. There is a small plastic box attached to the wall, not far from the Lampe Landing sign, where you can write yourself a receipt, leaving us the carbon (and the pens) and taking the top copy with you. You’ve done all you need to do now, and may depart. When the weather is drippy, just be sure to push the boxes farther back under the roof.

If you need help unloading, we are ready for that. But, alas, you cannot just knock on the door and call for Uncle Blogsy, as was the routine for, lo, these last thirty years. Uncle Blogsy now resides a floor below, and will not hear you knock. You can, however, use the phone not far from the Lampe Landing notice, which will alert the front desk that you could use a hand, and someone will be dispatched to come help you give us those signed Margaret Thatcher books. You will probably not get to talk to Uncle Blogsy, either, who has a reputation of being difficult to reach by phone. I’m not trying to hide; I’m just busy counting the volumes in that set of British Poets you dropped off LAST week.

So it’s all kind of easy to do. Yes, yes, there are ways in which it used to be easier, and Uncle Blogsy does miss getting to talk to you about your books. But this is the way it will be done from now on (until the Powers That Is change their minds. And Uncle Blogsy has no more control over that than he does the drippy weather.)

Comments

Please tell the powers that be that this new process of donating books etc for the book sale completely undermines the pleasure of donating books to the Newberry Library Book Fair. They should reinstate the old ways. For those of us who are donating books, (hoping either to re-home the books or to provide the Newberry with some extra budget money) rather than a tax donation transaction, this cold-hearted new way denies us the magic moment of delivering our "dreams" into the healing hands of "Blogsy" even if the price he pays is having an ear talked off, and moments taken away from work. Many of these moments become snapshots of small town Chicago in his blog that keeps us coming back for more, and keeps us supportive of the Newberry Library. The old way of donating books was about the feeling and relationship the donor has with the Newberry Library. Blogsy and the old process were representing the Newberry, not as a pile of cold redbrick stones high upon a staircase void of life, but, as a castle filled with people in a magical land, with a friendly gatekeeper. I wish to plead my case before the "kings" to reinstate the old ways.

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