What do we do with donated books at Lane Library?

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by Jeanne Gamage, Adult Services Librarian

What happens when you donate a book, audiobook, or magazine to Lane Memorial Library? Does it go immediately into the collection, do we give away to a person or another library, or do we sell it make money to buy more books?

The answer to that question is "yes/maybe/no" - it depends! According the Trustee policy, all gifts to the library are evaluated in the same way that we evaluate a book, etc. for purchase. We use criteria that include value to the community, author's credentials, accuracy of the material in the book, and cost to place it in the collection. The bottom line is the physical condition of the item - any item that is old, mildewed, dirty - we cannot use it. In fact, it is a health hazard to staff and patrons. It will be sealed and placed in the trash if the patron cannot take it away with them (sometimes people leave us little presents in the foyer!). Books that are dated, not in great condition, Reader Digest Condensed Books, newer encyclopedia and magazines are placed on the Free to a Good Home cart near the exits. Newer fiction books are checked against our collection and are sometimes used to replace our current copy that has been read to rags (Yes, book bindings do not last like they used to. We have to repair most books before they reach 25 circulations.). We may add it to the collection if the author is one we already have in the collection, but need the new title. We may also add a second or third copy if the book is currently popular. If the donation is a paperback, we may include it in the Paperback Exchange section in which you do not check out the books, just bring them back when you are finished. If the donated books are in good condition and we do not need them for the collection, we will put them in the on-going books sale area near the New Hampshire Room. Everything there is 25 cents. Wonderful new items go into our annual book sale which will be held June 19-21 this year.

Occasionally generous patrons give us books on tape or CD - both very popular formats - especially for patrons that drive long distances each day. We are most appreciative of their generosity. We may put them in the annual book sale or in the Audiobook Exchange, which we are developing. An Audiobook Exchange area will work like the Paperback Exchange. Items here will not need to be checked out, just exchanged for something new. It is difficult to make these donations part of the collection because they are retail copies of the audiobook and replacement cassettes/cd's cannot be obtained should something happen to a cassette or cd. Those that we purchase from a supplier of library audiobooks can have the components replaced for free or a small replacement cost. Videos are evaluated in the same way for inclusion into the collection or sale in the annual library sale.

Magazines are almost always put on the free cart for the use of our patrons. We know that many folks find this a wonderful resource since magazines are so expensive today.

We hope you think of us as you do your spring cleaning and weed out those nice books that you finished. We can probably find a use for them here at Lane Memorial Library - and thanks in advance!

Our annual book sale is June 19, 10-3. $1 off hardback books with your Lane Memorial Library card; June 20, 10-3. Friends of the Library Bake Sale; June 21, 9-3. Everything half price!

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