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Comments

The Last Archimedean

This man Clay is a buffoon who should be fired at once and replaced by someone who has a freaking clue. ALL the books the library wants to replace should be sold at a book sale, or donated to schools and orphanages and children's hospitals and other places that would love to have them.

The only time a book should ever be thrown away is if its condition has deteriorated to the point where it's unsalvageable.

maskedmustelid

Sure, the digital era may be affecting libraries, but *only* 10% decline in visits, and 6% less circulation? Sounds darn impressive it isn't more than that.

Nomnom

Did read the whole thing but at least one of the libraries in our system routinely throws the books donated to it in the dumpster out back. Not the ones that were actually in the library to begin with - books people donate to the library thinking they'll use them. They sell a few of them up front for a bargain but most of them go in the dumpster. How do I know? My grandmother became briefly obsessed about dumpster diving to rescue all these books. She then insists on reading all of them before passing them along to her friend who do things like send them to deployed soldiers. Well, up until the point they installed a bigger dumpster that she can't get into.

The Singing Library Clerk

Most of those books are in good condition and can be resold.

However, I also see some that have obvious water damage - you never want those around because even years after the damage is done they can grow mold which can spread to other books. (Seen it happen.) Others are long out of date non-fiction. No one is going to buy an old book on wiring when there's new books with all the latest wiring tech in them. (Except for maybe a writer looking to write period piece about a electrician.)

All the same, Clay's a moron. The books that can't be resold should be sent to a recycling center. Not just thrown away.

Kate

I'm a librarian and I have mixed feelings on this subject. Weeding goes on all the time in libraries. ALL THE TIME. If we didn't, we wouldn't have room for new books, or the few donations we get that are actually worth keeping. When we weed, we can either sell them (very few of them) to a company that gives us pennies on the dollar and requires us to keep them in bags until they finally get around to picking them up. OR we can give them to our over-burdened and over-stocked book sale area.
Unfortunately, we get more donations than we can deal with. If it's a popular author or title, we'll try to keep it (but not if we already have 2+ copies; that would be ridiculous). If not, it goes to the book sale or, sadly, the dumpster. We don't have the money or the manpower to distribute the books to any of the usual suspects, such as shelters, and they don't have the manpower or time to come get them.
Often, the donations are crap (sorry, it's true). A relative dies and the library receives boxes of books that have been sitting in the basement for decades. Outdated nonfiction, random authors that we've never heard of, mildewed, moldy, smoke-scented, smelling of cat pee and other lovely things. Those go straight to the dumpster. It wouldn't be safe for us to do anything else.
I don't like the look of books in the dumpster any more than the next bibliophile, but I understand that there are usually good reasons behind it.

Raygina

That's disgusting. There is no reason to throw a book away. What can't be sold can be donated, what can't be donated should be recycled. Some people have no respect for books.

CoG

While I think this guy has gone about this in completely the wrong way, I totally believe that community forums were held and poorly attended. No one gives a shit about the library until it's "suddenly" no longer available to meet their needs.

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