This is a shoe-sized box filled to full with mostly pens (a few stray pencils) that sits on my desk in the back office. It is overflow only, the daily takings are kept out at the circulation desk.
Here's something funny: a student just came to the desk to ask about her pencil. A very ordinary plastic mechanical pencil you buy in packs of 10. I pulled a handful out of the drawer, and she was able to pick hers out of the bunch. I sense in her a kindred spirit.