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November 16, 2012


Replies: 45

Library Donation gone wild

Svenler Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Professional Photographer
After cleaning out my library and converting numerous of my paper books to ebooks, I was ready to donate several thousand dollars worth of books to my local library. I had called a few days in advance and informed that I would stop by to drop them off.

I loaded all the books into sturdy boxes and put them into the car. I was amazed to see that my local library doesn't offer free parking anymore and the drop-off parking zone was removed. In any case, I paid for parking and walked in. When I asked if someone could help me unload, I was told that by order of the state government, they are not allowed to touch the books till they are in official government bins. Can they touch the boxes at least? Nope. By now I was fed up but carrying all the boxes in was easier than to drive back home. Yep, I also had to unload all the boxes myself and was scolded that some of the text books were too new. Apparently the state government doesn't allow donations of textbooks that are too new. I didn't expect great signs of gratitude, but a thank you would have been nice.

Now after the rant, to my questions: Is it the same in your area? Do you think government funding made libraries less dependent on individual donations to a level where libraries don't care anymore? Do you think government should be able to determine what books one can donate and if the volunteers can help you carry books in?

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Devious Comments

DoctorV23 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012
Too new eh? It's funny how people tend to vastly undervalue something if it's offered for free. You paid for parking on top of it plus did the carrying and provided the boxes, so it's almost like you paid them to take the books.
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
I grew up in a real shitty neighborhood.
My library was covered in spray paint and closed most of the year for about 15 years.:rofl:

Where I live now you can drop off anything you want. They recycle the garbage and send stuff they don't need top other branches.
TortelliniPen Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
I think that there should be some criteria for accepting books. I don't believe in censorship, however, I doubt that libraries should take books titled Why We Should Kill All Black People. Mein Kampf would be fine, since its historically important (although I've heard that Hitler wasn't a very good writer).

Also, if the library already has several copies of that book, or if the donated books are very poor quality (i.e. falling apart, missing pages, jelly stains, etc.) then that's a valid reason.

I've never actually parked at a library; I don't even have a license (I should get on that, but my hometown is small and I go to college in Boston where I've never needed a car), and its within walking distance anyway. Your library does seem a little extreme, though.
AJGlass Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
What are these "books" that you speak of? :bucktooth:

          . o O ( Hmm, I wonder where the "on" button is. )
Bullet-Magnet Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
And where's the charge adapter?
ChakatBlackstar Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
The library where I grew up never had free parking until after 5pm, but that's the way it was with all the city-owned public parking lots.
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes, there should be evaluation of the books donated. The two things that I think have to be extremist and poor quality (physically) books shouldn't be allowed.

I think a fair way to class something as being 'extremist' would be something inciting violence. A book literally falling apart is obvious. (it'd be rather unfair for someone to have to pay for a book if it broke, if it was breaking already.)

Furthermore, on a library by library basis, having more strict criteria could make sense, especially if they are tight on space.

For example:
Refusing books that they already have ample copies.
Refusing books that don't suit clientèle. (lets say a library is in a business district, and the majority of people borrowing are adults. they have small children's section, but it's full. They do not have the demand for them.)
Refusing factual books that are too old (lets say a 1920's book on science.)

However, I think those rules should only be made because of issues with space etc.
AJGlass Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
I don't know of any library that won't accept "extremist" books - whatever those may be.

In fact, censorship is a huge deal at public libraries and I know that the ones around where I live always come down on the side of openness and allowing patrons as much choice as possible.
divine--apathia Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
~TortelliniPen Captured what I mean. 'I doubt that libraries should take books titled Why We Should Kill All Black People. Mein Kampf would be fine. '
AJGlass Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
You might be surprised what books some libraries are willing to take - and what books some libraries aren't willing to take. I know of some libraries in the US south that won't stock books about abortion or homosexuality. Yet they'll stock books which promote going back to an age of slavery and books which advocate suppressing the rights of women.

The way I see it, libraries should accept ALL books and let their readers/users decide which ones they want to read. Of course, some libraries do have limited space and there's nothing wrong with selling off books that haven't been checked out in years or maybe even decades or for which a newer version now exists in the collection. Those should be the criteria by which books are sold and it should not be based solely on content or because some library board doesn't "approve" of it.
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