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Buswell Delivery Service

This guide explains how our library provided remote service and library-owned materials to our campus students, staff, and faculty when the library was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions, please email buswell.delivery@wheaton.edu.

Return Items via Mail - ReturnMyBooks Service

What We’re Doing

As our college’s students complete the Spring 2020 semester remotely and transition into summer break, a system allowing our students, faculty, and staff  to return books to our library was needed. Mail via USPS was preferred for convenience for all borrowers. We wanted this to be at no cost to the patrons, both because of equity concerns and because a no-cost solution allows a much greater chance of receiving the largest number of items back in a timely manner.

The two main parts of this "ReturnMyBooks" system are: 1) an electronic form (using the JotForm service) for patrons to request a pre-paid mailing label, and 2) an internet postage service called Endicia, which allows us to generate pre-paid USPS return labels and send them electronically to our patrons.

How We’re Doing It

  1. A patron who has books to return to our library fills out the electronic JotForm to request a label. On this form, they provide information such as their name and address (which will be the return address on the package) and the weight of the items they are mailing.
  2. We download the new form submissions on a daily basis, resulting in a Microsoft Excel file that contains all the submission information.
  3. For each request, one of our staff members uses the Endicia software to generate a USPS mailing label that is addressed to our library, from the patron. (In Endicia, we use the return label function to do this.) We use the Library Mail postage rate for this service.
  4. The staff member then emails a PDF of the label to the student, instructing them to print it out, affix it to the package, and send it via USPS (post office or drop-off box).

Notes: 

  • The library deposits money in the Endicia account in advance and as needed.  If labels are unused, the library is credited.
  • If patrons are unable to weigh the books, the JotForm requests them to provide the number of hardbacks and the number of paperbacks in their planned shipment. We determined an average weight per book for paperbacks and for hardbacks and use that to estimate the weight and postage for the package. USPS makes adjustments when the package is actually mailed.
  • See our JotForm here: https://library.wheaton.edu/returnmybooks