Lawsuit Results in Music Library Doesn't Really Need

The La Crosse, WI Public Library received 1,200 free music CDs as a result of a nationwide music industry settlement in a price-fixing lawsuit, but as has been reported with other libraries, two-thirds of what they received is useless to them. "The library received 18 boxes of duplicate copies of many of the selections, such as eight copies of Shawn Colvin's "Whole New You," seven copies of Handel's "Messiah," 15 copies of Samantha Mumba's "Gotta Tell You" and a box and a half of Everclear's "Songs from an American Movie."
Director Kelly Sigman said, "it's difficult not to come to the conclusion that the CDs were the companies attempt to clear their warehouses.
"I really don't think I need more than one copy of a 2-year-old album." Read More.


Put the CDs out for sale at $1 or $2 a piece.

This is where libraries need to have a really solid policy on gifts. They aren't free, whether it is Aunt Sally cleaning out the attic or some flaky lawsuit.

Monies obtained from the sale of these CDs must be earmarked for spending on a library's music collection. You can't just treat them like other gifts and/or dump them in your Friend's of the Library booksale. These gifts have strings. See the Colorado Department of Education's settlement FAQ page for more information.

I hope one of the strings is the right to reject the gift.

From FAQ "Q. Is this a good way to do collection development?
A. No. But in light of the current economic conditions facing libraries, opting in seemed more prudent than saying “no thanks� to the opportunity.

Might be a good time for libraries to promote their gift policy, alerting the public to the "real" cost which includes cataloging, storage, circulation, staff, lights, floors, walls. There is no free lunch. Let's hope there are no lost pornography law suits where the dregs go to the local library.

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