University library dumps rare books

The Guardian Reports The Octagon library at Queen Mary, University of London, in Mile End, east London, is in the process of refurbishment and decided that it would have to dispose of its surplus books.

"This is a crass display of philistinism," said one staff member. "There are books dating back to the 18th century, there are first editions, there are copies of Voltaire."


Disposing of unwanted books is not unusual -- in fact I'd guess every library faces this from time to time, unless you're the Bibliotheque Nationale and can get funding for a bigger library. My own library regularly has to weed and dispose of unwanted duplicate material. But they missed a great public relations opportunity here. When we dispose of material, we hold a book sale, and usually make a modest but useful amount of money from it. More importantly, our community loves us for it.Throwing books into a dumpster and angering book-lovers, when you can easily gain friends through a book sale, is just stupid.

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