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Donating books

(21 Posts)
TerriBull Sat 24-Nov-18 15:08:08

I had a massive sort out of books this morning. We have a dedicated charity book shop in our town, it's wonderfully set out and that's where we usually take our books to. However, my husband suggested that we call into the library as well with some of the hardbacks, quite sure that they would want them, given we had quite a few best selling authors, Peter May, Robert Galbraith, Kate Atkinson, C J Sansom, John le Carre etc. To our amazement the librarian said our council doesn't accept donations confused We hot footed it back to charity book shop who were delighted to add the hardbacks to the paperbacks we had dropped in earlier.

Reading about council funding cuts, I'd have thought that donations of books to libraries would be welcome, our books were in good condition. I'm wondering if anyone else has donated to a library, if so, were your offerings welcome?

Nannarose Sat 24-Nov-18 15:17:57

Yes, I have, but I know different councils have different rules.

Actually, any of the libraries I can access by public transport are now run by volunteer groups, who do of course, welcome donations.

Greenfinch Sat 24-Nov-18 15:30:48

Our library will only accept donated books if they have never been read or even opened. Once I received two copies of the same book from Gransnet and I had quite a job to convince them that the second copy had never been opened. They were not exactly grateful so now I take them to the Oxfam book shop.

TerriBull Sat 24-Nov-18 15:40:27

I can understand them not wanting books that are tatty, but specifying brand new hmm

boheminan Sat 24-Nov-18 16:21:30

Following on from a thread I started a little while ago about donating books, I've had the same frustrations. My library will accept books but only 'as new, pristine condition'. So, it's back to the charity shops for me toohmm

TerriBull Sat 24-Nov-18 16:33:26

If councils are strapped for cash, then libraries will no doubt be hit, I wonder why they can't rethink such a cavalier attitude in rejecting perfectly acceptable books, particularly if it's a title there would be a demand for. They could even encourage it quite honestly.

silverdragon Sun 25-Nov-18 01:44:25

One of the problems with donations is they need to be processed, i.e. allocated, jacketed, catalogued, spine labelled, added to computer system, security label added, etc, etc. It doesn't sound a lot but it all adds up in man hours. Where I worked (one of the London boroughs) we've been lucky enough not to have any libraries closed, in fact the hours have been increased slightly. BUT staffing has not been increased (having been reduced previously over the years), just spread more thinly to cover the hours open. The qualified staff at headquarters have been drastically reduced. We simply did not have the staff available to deal with donations.

When we did previously take donations often the books we were given were in no fit state to be added to stock, or were older non-fiction editions. I once accepted about 50 foreign fiction which I was assured had only been read once and were in excellent condition. Only 2 were suitable to be added to stock. To use Terribull's description, often the unwanted tatty books were included as donations because charity shops wouldn't take them, folk didn't want the responsibility of chucking them away themselves so passed that onto library staff by 'hiding' them in the bags of donated books.

Personally I believe libraries should take donations. But how do you prevent ending up with multiple copies of the best selling authors? These are the titles that libraries tend to buy anyway.

I won't go on as it was something I was passionate about but had little or no control over. All I can suggest is get in touch with the acquisitions (or equivalent) librarian at the headquarters of your county/borough and ask if they have a Donations Policy, and would they consider implementing one if they didn't.

kittylester Sun 25-Nov-18 07:10:08

Iur village library, which is run by volunteers and the responsibility of the Community Association, has a large, well used, Independent loan section and will take any donated books in reasonable condition.

sodapop Sun 25-Nov-18 09:07:28

Yes we are much the same as kittylester but we do specify books must be in good condition etc. It's unfortunate that people dislike throwing away books even if they are old and tatty so bring them to us. I have had to be ruthless on occasions turning away boxes of books which are foxed, smelly and even with mice droppings. Books from smokers are a no no as well. We get round the multiple copies issue by selling the duplicates.

TerriBull Sun 25-Nov-18 10:03:48

Thank you silverdragon for giving a detailed explanation.

I certainly wouldn't donate books in such a state sodapop, I can understand why they would be rejected.

CassieJ Sun 25-Nov-18 10:41:51

My son is under the hospital in Nottingham where he has regular appointments. Their library there always takes donations of books. It may be worth asking at your local hospital whether they will take donations.

Jane43 Mon 03-Dec-18 21:59:34

Our doctors’ surgery accepts books and sells them very cheaply. HomeBase also accepts them and Sainsbury’s used to, not sure if they still do.

SpringyChicken Mon 03-Dec-18 22:32:38

Our library takes some books, it depends if it is a popular author and the condition. They almost bit my husband's hand off for a John Grisham hardback.

Bathsheba Mon 03-Dec-18 22:55:54

Books from smokers are a no no as well.
I understand this completely, but what about library members who are smokers? They borrow books, take them into their smoke-filled homes, smoke all over the books while reading them. Are these books discarded once returned?

newnanny Tue 04-Dec-18 09:27:01

We hear constantly local councils are strapped for cash so any rational person would assume libraries would be very grateful for donated books, especially those in good condition. I have offered books only once read once by myself ans best sellers as soon as released so I know others would want to read them but have been turned away. MY MiL always saves her hardback books for me too and she never wants them back so I take these and my read books to the National Trust coffee morning and books sales and they are very grateful for them and sell them for £1 each so raising money for N.T. too.

sodapop Tue 04-Dec-18 13:04:43

Yes Bathsheba if I can smell smoke on a book out it goes. Fortunately it seems we have few smokers amongst our members.

ditzyme Thu 06-Dec-18 10:07:14

We donate books to a large charity book sale held annually in a village on the North Norfolk coast - anyone in this area will know of it I'm sure, started to help save the local church. Some charity shops started refusing to take any more books, and it was hard to know which one would take as they changed their minds. So now we just stack them in boxes in the summerhouse, until they get collected. I had thought about asking the library if they would take them but did nothing more about it, maybe I'll get in touch as there are some new, unread hardbacks.

Jessity Mon 17-Dec-18 19:27:31

Thank you CassieJ for the hospital suggestion, ours has a “Friends of...” bookstall that I could usefully have in mind.

Floradora9 Tue 18-Dec-18 15:49:41

I do all the time as they are hard pressed for money . If our local library has the book they pass it on to another branch .

Charleygirl5 Tue 18-Dec-18 16:13:12

I donated books read once by myself to my local library once. The books were taken but it was the attitude so now if friends do not want the books I donate to a local charity shop which has an excellent turnover of books because they sell them cheaply. Last week I bought 5 paperbacks in excellent condition for £2.50. I need more books in this house like a hole in the head.

Witzend Tue 18-Dec-18 19:50:41

I used to work in our local library. We'd accept donations, but to be frank, much of it was often too old and tatty, or very out of date non-fiction, or else titles we already had enough of.
Sometimes quite a bit of it would sadly be binned. It was largely stuff charity shops wouldn't want either - too tatty or otherwise unsaleable.

We often had to 'weed' our shelves anyway, to make room for new stock. Any saleable donations that we couldn't use for whatever reason, would go on our 'for sale' shelf, with our own weedings.