Talk:Proposed features/amenity=library dropoff

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Posting this hopefully to spark some conversation.

An intrinsic part of a library?

I like your proposal, you've considered many aspects, but: what is special about a dropoff point that would merit a new feature tag? I can perhaps see the case if there were a book dropoff separate from a library, but a book chute is so much part of a library that I wouldn't consider mapping it separately. Who would be the people this tag would help?

Also, your example could be better. The Rogers Public Library building isn't even mapped! Map the buildings, entrances and accessibility features before the details. The dropoff at Lynchburg Public Library might have been a better one to highlight. --Scruss (talk) 02:46, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Also, in a large library it may be useful to map exact location of such point Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:36, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

Requestor's Response

Thanks Scruss the primary purpose of this would NOT be for an exterior drop-off point at a physical library. Although M876294673wiki below indicates that there would be some interest in such. To give a better idea what this would look like I when ahead and added 5 locations that match the proposed tagging as part of this change set including 5 location one in Rogers and Bentonville and Three is Fayetteville within my area. Likewise based on these example nodes here are directions from the main physical library to the off-site drop off location for Rogers, Bentonville, and one of the Fayetteville locations. The directions in particular I think identify very well who might use such tagging to search for nearby library drop-offs.

Indoors or outdoors?

I reckon that every library branch will have a drop off slot inside the building. Is this intended for points that are outside the building, likely (but not necessarily) open 24/7? M876294673wiki (talk) 04:25, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Requestor's Response

This is intended first and foremost to be for remote book drops at locations other than the primary library. However, there seems to be a few comments indicating that a possible secondary use could be for external drive through book drops as well. --JPinAR (talk) 12:48am, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

I support this

My local library is a whole city block. It has an exterior book deposit slot, somewhere on the exterior of the building. I would like to be able to plan a trip to the library to drop off my books without needing to explore the entire exterior of the building. This node will help with that.

Here’s my library, to help visualize this: M876294673wiki (talk) 04:38, 15 November 2021 (UTC)

Requestor's Response

This is intended first and foremost to be for remote book drops at locations other than the primary library. However, there seems to be a few comments indicating that a possible secondary use could be for external drive through book drops as well. --JPinAR (talk) 12:48am, 16 November 2021 (UTC)


We have a local library dropoff completely separate from any libraries here: I tagged it as amenity=book_return which is also not an accepted tag but this proposal would work for it so I support this. Mingwei (talk) 18:58, 16 November 2021 (UTC)

Example image

Welcome to the OSM Wiki, and thanks for writing up this proposal. I've been interested in mapping these drop-off boxes for some time. If you have an account at Wikimedia Commons (or Wikipedia), you could upload an image there and embed it here just as you would've embedded a locally uploaded image. Otherwise, a direct link to [1] at Mapillary would be more convenient to some users than a link to RapiD. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 03:47, 3 December 2021 (UTC)

I added one from Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:40, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
I replaced the RapiD link with a direct Mapillary link. Mapillary already has a minimap for context. – Minh Nguyễn 💬 07:18, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
Great, now I'm going through my entire Google Photos library looking for silver boxes to upload to the Commons :-) --ElliottPlack (talk) 04:22, 16 December 2021 (UTC)

remote is not needed restriction

"remote dropoff location for a library." - why only remote? Why one in front of library would need a different tag? Maybe use "often remote" or something similar that would still explain its use Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:41, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

I second this. Where I would draw the line is if the return were built into the library, at which point I would perhaps consider it as intrinsic as a drive through window at a fast food restaurant. Osmweekly (talk) 15:54, 12 December 2021 (UTC)

What about places where you can also pickup books?

There are at least some where one may request book and pick up it at any time (also when library is closed).

They are typically also allowing return of books. Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 22:43, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

Something I thought about asking: I have some larger ones the size of a amenity=mobile_library that has its own selves of books you can borrow from, like a amenity=vending_machine. Concluded they would qualify as a small amenity=library.
Yours a difference case.
---- Kovposch (talk) 05:45, 9 December 2021 (UTC)
Noticed Proposed_features/amenity=library_dropoff#An_alternative_solution_I_am_amenable_to tries to discuss this. Although yours isn't going to be amenity=library. ---- Kovposch (talk) 11:59, 9 December 2021 (UTC)

Return time limit: Drop-off box vs self check-in machine

Aside from borrowing / check-out functions above, is this only used in drop-off boxes? What about machines that process them instantly? Functionally at least something like maxstay=* has to be applied to restrict the due date, or duration=* to show the transfer time. collection_times=* won't show how long it takes. ---- Kovposch (talk) 12:50, 9 December 2021 (UTC)

I support

I was looking for such a tag a while back, and at the time dug through amenity=public bookcase and others looking for such a tag.

I felt that this return box was separate enough from the library as it was in the library's parking lot. for example, if a business has a waste bin inside, I wouldn't map that, but if there were one out front, I would. It's a perfectly useful description of a static physical object and therefor worth mapping.

good use cases include universities that may have a large network across an area and may have several drop off boxes across campus. Osmweekly (talk) 15:59, 12 December 2021 (UTC)


There are some uses of amenity=vending_machine and vending=book_return.

Those should be retagged if the proposal gets accepted. Nielkrokodil (talk) 06:47, 13 December 2021 (UTC)

Indoor + Opening hours

Great idea, I totally support this! That would be great to include as well indoor and accessibility tag such as indoor=*, level=*, wheelchair=*, etc. in the proposal (even if it's quite clear that they are needed). Real question: how to indicate that the dropoff is reachable only during certain hours? Should opening_hours=* be added to the dropoff or inferred from the building or the amenity? Or should both have it?

Smart addition

I like this proposal. I have seen these things around my jurisdiction (they use the same model for prescription drug returns... do we have a tag for that?). --ElliottPlack (talk) 04:14, 16 December 2021 (UTC)