Help Needed! What To Do With Weeded Books?

Here's a letter to the Friends of the Library USA--If you have suggestions for this librarian/friend, I will pass them on...

Hello, Everyone-

I am new to the (FOLUSA) list. I have some questions and I need advice!

I am a Reference Librarian at a small public library in Ohio. I am also helping out our Friends of the Library organization. We have a very small and inactive Friends group and are working on getting it started up again.

I have volunteered to help sort books in our Friends'Room.It is a disaster! We have books everywhere! Some are in poor condition and will be pitched soon. The librarians on staff (including me) have been instructed to continue weeding to make room for a planned renovation this spring.

We will have 2 Friends' Book Sales- one in May and one in Sept. We need to make room for future donations and the weeded books.

My questions are 1) What do your groups do with the overflow of books? (throw them away? give them away?)
2) Are there limitations to what can be done with the books? We are not allowed (by state law) to give away books the library has weeded. They are considered state property and cannot be given away. Why? I don't know. 3) If your group throws the books away, how do you dispose of them so the "public" doesn't perceive you are wasting tax payer dollars?

Any ideas about what to do with all the extra books?

We have some but are looking for other venues as well.

Thank you in advance

Ohio Public Library Friend!


I've heard a few positive things about Better World>. They sell library discards and split profits between the library and other literacy initiatives. They pay for shipping, and as long as the books have not already been "picked over" by the public or staff, the library can share in the profit. They also offer very clear guidelines for what to ship and what not to ship.

Our system has a place to send discards to be recycled.

You should petition the people in charge and try to sell the books a lot of copies of books may not be all that good but it may be out of print. Our library can't give books away or sell them because there is some stipulation that prevents that but asking for permission from your board would be worth the effort. Why keep old books when if you sold them you could buy or lease new ones. It would only add to the library not take away or steal anything from the library or the public. After all you are asking permission-you would not be doing anything underhanded. Isn't that better than putting them in a dump?

We do sell books in our FOL booksales but for those that are too disgusting, out of date, etc. they are recycled.