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Library Donation Books

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This summer I spent hours on the library’s third floor, a large area used for storage since the 1970’s; no air conditioning but lots of dust. I sorted through 177 boxes of books that were donated to the library. Library staff are not following the current donation policy and all donated books are given to the Friends Book Sale. Many books in my Adult Fiction section are in well-loved condition with water damage, broken spines and torn pages. Sorting through the boxes led to the addition of 300 adult fiction titles not owed by the library, example added a new copy of Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. The donation books were used to replace 450 “loved books” with newer copies, example replaced a water damaged, broken spine copy of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah with a brand new copy. My frustration leads me to search for information about how to handle book donations in a public library. I searched the Library and Information Source link on Clarion’s online library page using the term “handling gift or donated books”. I selected Kay Ann Cassell’s article “Handling gift books in libraries: A view from the US.” Cassell’s article provides an overview of guidelines to be used in creating a gift book policy. A gift or donated book policy should be part of the library’s Collection Development policy. Library staff are able to follow a policy that explains the purpose of the library’s collection, what the library provides, who are library users and what types of materials are
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