I am the sole librarian for my church's small (>1500 volumes) library. Currently, the library is housed in a large common-area room with no way to control access. We use the honor system for checkout, with a card in each book for people to drop in a secure box when they check out. There is a high rate of late/no returns. Today, I went into the library to find that the book cards had been removed from several shelves of books and are nowhere to be found. Needless to say, I am discouraged that so many people can't be bothered to return the books so others can read them, and also that someone decided to undo several hours of my labor by taking the book check-out cards.
The bright side is that the building that houses the library is going to be replaced, so I find myself in a unique position to establish a new system and possibly break some old, bad habits. The library will be packed up and stored for 6 months to a year, then housed in a large adult classroom when the new building is complete.
Automation is not a possibility, nor is staffing the library for check-outs. The new space will have a door, and I can request that it be lockable to maintain control over when the library is used. I'm considering asking that children under a certain age be accompanied by an adult when using the library. Also, perhaps a check-out binder rather than cards. Thanks in advance for any ideas and suggestions.