Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The dump hour

The last hour of the last day of the week at my library is what I call "The Dump Hour". This is when households across the metro gather together anything that is remotely related to any library anywhere, come to my branch in the last hour before we close on Sunday, and dump it onto our return machine. 

Rumble rumble rumble goes the machine under the onslaught of Dump Hour stuff!

Here come 11 books weeded from the Minneapolis Public Library in 1988!

Here are 24 magazines from the nearby St. Paul system that will need to have a date stamped slip inserted into each them.

Here is a random, mysterious old hymnal that no one has ever read, and no one ever will.

Here is one item that may have been a book of ours, once, long ago.

These three things belong to the school library of a famously posh private school called The St. Paul Academy. F. Scott Fitzgerald went to High School here.

Here are a series of the Interlibrary loan books we painstakingly requested for a patron, one by one, from all over the State, now coming back all at once.

And here are 138 children's picture books checked out from our branch and coming down the rollers like an great train that is so long it disappears into the distance. 

Three sliced loaves of bread come through.

They do not look fresh!

The library orphan, looking at ease, rolls by. "Hello." The library orphan says winningly as he is diverted into the exception bin.

"Hello." I respond.

A cup of coffee rolls along. Fortunately it is almost empty.

Then a gray hat comes down the line.

I grab my head in alarm. 

Hey, that's my hat!


  1. All of your examples seemed so realistic I thought that I seen the AMH conveyer rolling by, But no, I retired before SV had AMH. My mind translated your examples into the more primitive experience of items thudding into the little room, about 4 x 5 x 8, where they simply piled up on the floor. We always tried to load books onto cart(s) before we closed, and we left the door of this little room open to accommodate forty volumes of a patron's personal (but discarded) library.

    1. SV had a little room.Their AMH is kind of little too. It's funny. In the old days here we had a pretty big room really for returns, with four exterior drop slots to fill four big canvas bins, but on big holiday closures we'd pull out all the bins, and when we'd come back we would have a room that was just a sea of books.


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