The dictionary definition of a locker is ‘A small, usually metal compartment that can be locked, especially one at a gymnasium or public place for the safekeeping of clothing and valuables’ and that really says it all. A locker is a very useful item that can keep things safely and securely stored whilst at the same time giving the owner of the locker privacy and a sense of retaining ownership of their personal items.
Despite the dictionary definition, a locker does not in fact have to be made of metal. It can be made of wood, plastic or even glass. It is just that the more general application is made using metal as this gives strength and ease of fabrication.
But where do you find lockers nowadays? The more usual places are where people require secure storage that they can access easily and without too much hassle. Sports facilities such as leisure centres and swimming pools use them often. Also golf courses and gyms. Other than this many employers tend to provide them so that workers have a place to put away persona items and reduce clutter as well as prevent such things as theft and damage. In larger companies this can even become a health and safety issue as people leaving briefcases and bags in walkways and by desks can cause a fall and then they are left with a much bigger issue to tackle as in an insurance claim.
Schools and colleges of course are also high end users of lockers. At junior school the children are usually provided with a small wooden compartment or cubby-hole, without a door or lock but clearly marked with their name and class. This allows them to keep safely and neatly their outdoor clothing sports kit and even lunch boxes so that they are easily retrievable at the appropriate time. Once they progress to secondary school the lockers usually become much larger and have a lock fitted or a key code. Older children really need this so that they can store heavy textbooks and folders and personal items. This is a good age to start giving children responsibility as they know that if they lose their key or forget their key-code they will not have access and this can create a problem which they will want to avoid. They can also keep valuable items safely such as cash for lunch and transport. As the children grow they may want to personalise their lockers and very often the schools and colleges will allow them to do this, but usually just on the inside!