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return your library materials at the book drop

Convenient Ways to Return Your Library Materials

Check out our 2022 updated blog on returning materials

One of the more common questions we get asked at the library is where items can be returned. We offer a number of convenient ways to return your library materials to help you avoid fines.

  1. When the Library is open, bring your items inside to return them, or place them in one of the outside book drops (more on this latter option below). If you return items inside the Library, it’s preferred that you slide them into the return slot, near the main entrance, across from the self check-out machines. Doing so will ensure prompt check-in of your materials, and will help us get your items re-shelved quickly for other patrons to borrow.   
  1. If you need to return items after the Library is closed, we have book drops outside the Library for your convenience. There are two sets of book drops outside the Library, and each set has a bin for books and another for audio visual materials. If you return an item in one of the book drops while the library is closed, the item will be checked in as being returned on the last day the library was open. For example, a book returned outside late Friday night, or before we open Saturday, will be checked in as returned on Friday. 


  1.  Many of our patrons take advantage of reciprocal borrowing: Some live in Deerfield, yet use another library near their workplace; some live in other suburbs, yet borrow items from us. We thus often get asked if our items can be returned to other local libraries, or if items from other area public libraries can be returned here. The short answer is “yes” to both questions for most items (but see the exceptions regarding Interlibrary Loan and LINKin below). However, a few things need to be kept in mind:  
  • All Interlibrary Loan and LINKin items must be returned to the library where you checked them out.
  • We do not have access to your account at any other library. So, while we will return materials to another public library for you, we cannot check-in items from your account at another library. Likewise, if you return one of our items at another library, the item will not be checked in until we receive it here.
  • Because we cannot check-in items from another library (and they cannot check-in items you borrow from us), you may incur fines if you do not allow for transit time. All items from other local libraries are sent through a courier system to a sorting station before they are delivered to the library where they belong. This can take several days, and you will be responsible for late fees if items are not delivered by the due date.
  • We cannot print a receipt or provide proof that you returned an item from another library here, because we cannot check it in for you. Therefore, we highly recommend that you return items directly to the lending library if possible, so you can have a record of returning it.
  • We do not return books to school or academic libraries.

We hope these options provide a convenient way for you to return your Library materials.  If you have any questions about returning items, please feel free to ask a staff member at one of our service desks, or give us a call.

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