Where Do Books from Closed Libraries Go?

Philly Voice answers the {infrequently asked} question:

Q) What happens to the books at closed libraries like the South Philadelphia one at Broad and Morris streets?

Question answered by Jennifer Maguire-Wright, chief manager of materials for the Free Library of Philadelphia:

A) The materials in the South Philadelphia collection were mostly sent to other neighborhood libraries in the library system. Items that were in poor condition or outdated were withdrawn from the collection -- we call it “weeding,” in library lingo. Those items are typically offered to other city agencies for a period of time and then sold in book sales.

How do you determine which ones get the boot?

We have a collection development policy that includes details on how we keep our collections fresh and current. Typically, items are removed from the collection due to condition. Our books can be well-loved to the point that they are falling apart. For non-fiction, we have guides based on the content. A good example is health-related materials. Anything older than five years is looked at critically to see if there are newer titles on the topic ...

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