Dry Erase Reserve Slips

Some of you may recognize this idea as I shared it in the Hafuboti eNewsletter vol. 4 – it got such a good response that I felt it should be shared with a wider audience. It’s one of those things that, having been at a small library for over a decade now, was so shockingly simple/easy that I still shake my head that we didn’t come up with it sooner.

Team members Adina and Jamie came up with the core idea. Then after using this system for a few months, we made minor tweaks and have been very happy with them ever since.

Here’s what our holds slips look like at the Children’s Library:

We added a second dry-erase marker since last I shared about this, but the eraser (the black void in the front) and the slips remain the same.
In use at the Main Library:
In use at the Children’s Library:

Differences Between Library Buildings

Main Library

  • Reserves are on two three-tier metal book cases (so six shelves total). We’ve used the top to feature programs and/or prizes for programs.
  • Clean reserve slips are stacked to the right of the reserve shelves. Next to the shelves is a mason jar with markers and an eraser. Not very photogenic, but highly practical.
  • There are alphabetical dividers for our Main Library’s reserves. Those are old audiobook cases that we added strong magnets to in order to help keep books from slumping over. These look really nice and make things easier to find.
  • Books are spine-down, thus the reserve slips are horizontal. This has upped privacy as well as stopped patrons taking longer at the circ desk while trying to see what others are checking out.

Children’s Library

  • No “patron name alpha-spacers” at Kids because reserves are lined up along the countertop. Though we sometimes have to add a few more bookends throughout the row to combat things collapsing when grabbing a large number of items.
  • We may eventually add the same shelves, but that would reduce visibility at my desk, and I like to be able to see what’s going on.

Other Details

To save on rubber bands, we write the number of holds the patron has in the slip’s upper left-hand corner. Their items will be to the right of the initial slipped item. It’s an easy adjustment if more items are added.

⇠This is what the slips look like. Basic and to-the-point.
We use 5 mil laminating sheets and they’ve held up perfectly fine.

I think that about covers it! As always, don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions about what we do or why – It always brightens my day to receive correspondence from readers.

Similar Posts